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Pakistani Taliban urge gov't to declare ceasefire first

English.news.cn   2014-02-21 19:40:24

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- As the Pakistani government has refused to hold talks with the Taliban unless they publicly announce halt to attacks, the militants have now urged the government to declare a ceasefire first.

The tit-for-tat demands would further complicate the fragile process, which faced dialogue this week following a series of the Taliban attacks and killing of 23 security men who had been kidnapped in 2010.

The Taliban spokesman Shahid said on Friday said the militants are willing to revive the dialogue if the government takes the initiative of a ceasefire.

Pakistani fighter jets bombed positions of the Taliban militants in North Waziristan tribal region on Thursday and had claimed killing nearly 40, including foreign militants.

The Taliban spokesman, speaking at a news conference at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan, referred to the military strikes and said they are ready for talks despite attacks.

"The government has started the war and should also take the lead on a ceasefire," he said while putting a condition that political analysts say will not be acceptable to the government.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar says that continuation of talks with the Taliban would be unjustified if bloodshed is not stopped.

The Taliban spokesman said the government only wants the militants accept the constitution.

"If this is the only approach then the process could not proceed," Shahid said.

He claimed the Taliban are serious in the dialogue process and the government should also show seriousness.

"We have been fighting a defensive war for ten years," the spokesperson said, adding that the government should stop this root-out operation immediately.

A senior member of the Taliban dialogue committee, Professor Ibrahim Khan, also suggested to the government to announce a simultaneous ceasefire.

Editor: Yang Yi
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