Pakistani Taliban welcome clerics’ call for ceasefire

Published October 1, 2013
“We are ready to proceed with the APC suggestions and willing to have peace,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told Dawn.com on Tuesday. – File Photo
“We are ready to proceed with the APC suggestions and willing to have peace,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told Dawn.com on Tuesday. – File Photo

PESHAWAR: Welcoming suggestions of Pakistani clerics regarding a ceasefire prior to peace talks, the Pakistani Taliban Tuesday night announced that they would reconsider their stance if the government was ready for a break in fighting.

Ulema (clerics) and representatives of various religious seminaries functioning under Wafaqul Madaris had expressed concern Monday over the “civil war-like situation” in the country and appealed to both the government and the Taliban to observe a “complete ceasefire” till the completion of the process of talks.

The appeal was made in a joint statement issued after a “consultative meeting” of the Ulema and teachers of seminaries held at a local hotel in Islamabad. It was presided over by Wafaqul Madaris chief Maulana Salimullah Khan.

Speaking to Dawn.com from an undisclosed location, the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the TTP welcomes Ulema’s suggestion for a ceasefire.

He, however, claimed it was the government which is launching the offensive against them, saying if it can take the lead in stopping the war, then they were also ready to follow it.

“We are ready to proceed with the APC suggestions and willing to have peace, there is no ill-will to the peace process among the Taliban leadership,” he added.

The welcoming gesture of the Taliban militants can be considered as a major breakthrough for potential peace talks as the TTP spokesman on Saturday assailed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for changing his mind and giving a precondition of laying down weapons, saying his government was not serious about holding the dialogue.

“By telling us that we will have to lay down arms and respect the constitution, the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, showed that he is following the policy of America and its allies,” the spokesman had said.

About Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s offer of opening Taliban offices in the settled areas, Shahid said: “We welcome the offer but we feel at this moment there is no need of opening any office any where.”

Punjabi Taliban chief Asmatulah Mauvia, in a relevant development, reiterated to hold unconditional talks for peace and said the outfit would respond to the APC offer within three days.

Speaking to Dawn.com, Mauvia said that they were willing for unconditional talks and would respond within the next three days.

Opinion

Editorial

Yemen atrocity
Updated 23 Jan, 2022

Yemen atrocity

The sooner this war is ended, the better, to halt the suffering of Yemen's people and ensure security of all regional states.
23 Jan, 2022

Regressive taxation

THE FBR appears to have kicked up a new and unnecessary controversy by serving notices on currency dealers to ...
23 Jan, 2022

Medico-legal flaws

ON Friday, a 13-page verdict authored by Justice Ali Zia Bajwa of the Lahore High Court revealed a shocking fact...
Updating the economy
22 Jan, 2022

Updating the economy

GDP rebasing doesn’t make countries or people richer; it is just about updated data for policymakers to make informed decisions.
22 Jan, 2022

Covid curbs

CONSIDERING the steep rise in Covid-19 cases in the country over the past few days, the government decided on...
22 Jan, 2022

Cricket hope

SIX Pakistan players named across three teams of the year announced by the ICC is a testament to an uplifting 2021...