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Minister questions Taliban’s Sharia

Updated February 19, 2014

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Information Minister Pervez Rashid. – File Photo
Information Minister Pervez Rashid. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Lashing out at Pakistani Taliban for slaughtering 23 paramilitary personnel, Information Minister Pervez Rashid on Wednesday questioned whether the militants’ action was in accordance with the Islamic Sharia.

Speaking to media representatives, he criticised the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leadership for the inhuman killing of the captive Frontier Cops (FC) soldiers.

“People favouring enforcement of Sharia should tell what treatment captives deserve according to the Sharia …… and the treatment those (FC men) received was in accordance with the Islamic laws or not,” he questioned.

The minister said that TTP’s central spokesman Shahidullah Shahid should have conveyed their reservations to the negotiating team they formed. “But, they didn’t do it and firstly attacked policemen in Karachi and then killed FC personnel,” he added.

Taking a strong stand against the home grown militants, he said the government also has reservations which the Taliban must address first.

Referring to the 1971’s war against India, Rashid said, “Even our rival country treated our 90,000 war captives in accordance with the Geneva Convention.” “Did they (Indians) behead even a single Pakistani soldier,” he questioned.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader clarified that no one should doubt capabilities of Pakistan’s defence institutions in dealing with the Taliban.

“They (defence institutions) have always achieved best possible results when it comes to defending our territorial boundaries or natural calamities and international community endorses it…… Pakistan’s armed forces are ranked very high in United Nations peacekeeping missions.”

Replying to a question regarding the likely military offensive against the extremists, Rashid ruled out such an action in the near future, saying there were two negotiating committees to deal with the situation.

“We are waiting for Taliban’s response to be conveyed to us by our negotiators….. a decision in this regard would only be made after that,” said the information minister.

Putting forth their conditions for ceasefire earlier today, Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah said that killing and dumping bodies of TTP members should immediately be stopped.

“The government has killed more than 60 Taliban since the start of the peace talks, in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan, under a secret operation codenamed Operation Root Out,” he claimed.

Peace talks between the two sides to end years of violence by the militant group reached a deadlock earlier this week after the killing of the 23 soldiers.

The FC soldiers had been kidnapped from Shongari checkpost in Mohmand tribal region in 2010 and were killed in captivity to avenge what Taliban called the custodial killing of their ‘fighters’ in various parts of Pakistan.