TTP chief Mehsud rules out peace talks through ‘media’

Published October 9, 2013
Leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud during interview with a  BBC correspondent. — Photo by INP with the courtesy of BBC
Leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud during interview with a BBC correspondent. — Photo by INP with the courtesy of BBC

KARACHI: Criticising the government for not being able to take any substantial step towards peace talks, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud Wednesday said they would not hold dialogue through the media.

Speaking in a rare interview with the BBC, he said the Pakistani government should have officially announced initiation of peace talks and should have sent a tribal Jirga to them for that purpose.

“We don’t wish to negotiate with the media….neither do we wish to hear the government’s preconditions through the media nor do we want to put our precondition in front of it,” said Mehsud.

He said Taliban were ready for serious talks with the government and would welcome such an effort from it. He vowed to provide a government Jirga with complete security if it was sent to them.

The TTP chief said scheduled withdrawal of Nato and US forces from Afghanistan will not change anything in Pakistan and vowed to carry on with their ‘activities.’

“We are engaged in a war with Pakistan for two reasons; firstly Pakistan is a friend of America and Ulema (Islamic clerics) were killed and madrassas (religious seminaries) were destroyed in the country upon America’s command.”

“Another reason for waging a Jihad here is the prevailing Kafirana (infidel) system in place in Pakistan,” he added.

Mehsud said the Pakistani Taliban will carry on demanding implementation of Shariah laws in the country even after the 2014 withdrawal.

Acknowledging Pakistani clerics’ appeal for a ceasefire prior to peace talks, he said for any ceasefire to be credible it was important that US drone strikes on Pakistani land are stopped.

Distancing themselves from terrorist attacks on public places, Mehsud said spy agencies were involved in such activities. “Purpose behind those attacks is to move the masses against Taliban so that public support towards us is stopped,” he said.

The TTP chief vowed to carry on attacking “friends of America and devil believers.”

When asked why previous peace initiatives had failed, he blamed the government. “The government of Pakistan bombs innocent tribal people due to the pressure of America... Drone strikes conducted by Americans were (backed) by Pakistan. Then the Americans pressed Pakistan to start ground operations in these areas, and Pakistan complied,” said Mehsud.

“So the government is responsible for past failures,” he added.

Opinion

Editorial

Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.
New Covid danger
30 Nov 2021

New Covid danger

The government’s messaging around the coronavirus and the potential threat of Omicron must be reactivated.
Updated 30 Nov 2021

Saudi conditions

DECADES of fiscal profligacy have trapped the country in a situation where it not only has to borrow more money to...
30 Nov 2021

Mental health concerns

THE economic and psychological effects of Covid-19, combined with the issues of joblessness and inflation, have had ...