ISLAMABAD, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani government announced Sunday it is suspending airstrikes against the Taliban militants a day after they announced a unilateral one-month ceasefire.
Airstrikes on the Taliban positions were launched last month in Waziristan and Khyber tribal regions following Taliban attacks and a deadlock in the peace process. Military officials had said the airstrikes had killed dozens of militants.
"The government has decided to suspend airstrikes after the Taliban's unconditional ceasefire," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
The Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, while announcing the ceasefire on Saturday had also called upon the government to give a positive response.
"We consider the Taliban decision to stop violent actions as a positive progress," the Interior Minister said in a statement.
He however said the government and the army will have the right to respond to any incident of violence.
"The security forces had launched targeted strikes only in response to attacks," Khan said, adding the government has not conducted any military operation after it has taken over in June last year.
Official sources said the decision was taken after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed the issues with all stakeholders and party leaders.
The prime minister had started consultations about a response to the Taliban's ceasefire late Saturday and the process continued on Sunday. He also presided over a high level meeting in Lahore on Sunday to evolve consensus on the issue.
The prime minister was happy at the Taliban decision and was thinking of declaring a ceasefire on part of the government too, the sources said.
The sources said that the prime minister had asked Army Chief General Rahil Sharif to stop attacks on militants and he might announce his decision soon.
ISLAMABAD, March 1 (Xinhua) -- A Pakistani government committee, formed for peace talks with the Taliban militants, on Saturday welcomed ceasefire by the Taliban as a positive step that could revive the stalled dialogue process.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan's spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the group has declared a ceasefire for a month and the leadership has asked all the Taliban groups to respect the ceasefire and stop attacks. Full story
ISLAMABAD, March 1 (Xinhua) -- As the Pakistani security forces mounted pressure on the Taliban militants with targeted air strikes on their hideouts, the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday announced ceasefire for a month and asked its activists to stop all attacks.
The Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, also urged the government to positively respond to the Taliban's ceasefire decision. Full story