Friday, December 18, 2009

Taliban want talks with govt: Malik

* Interior minister says govt cannot hold talks with ‘unreliable people who don’t even fulfil their commitments’

ISLAMABAD: The Taliban leadership is sending messages from various sources to the government for holding dialogue, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday. “The government cannot hold talks with unreliable people who don’t even fulfil their commitments. If the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) really wants to hold dialogue with the government, they must surrender and lay down their arms first,” Malik said.

He said TTP leader Hakeemullah Mehsud had accepted responsibility for the Parade Lane mosque attack in Rawalpindi, adding that the TTP had time and again accepted the responsibility of terrorist attacks in various parts of the country including suicide attacks on students at the International Islamic University. “How can they (Taliban) blame the country’s secret agencies for carrying out terrorist attacks,” he asked, adding that, “TTP spokesman Azam Tariq is a liar. He is the person who first announced the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud and said Faqir Muhammad will be the head of the TTP, but later backtracked.”

“The leadership of TTP has realised that their so-called and self-designed jihad is meaningless now as the clerics have denounced suicide attacks and their jihad, which is against innocent people,” Malik said. He said “the banned outfit is losing the support of their own people as well because there is no justification for their self-designed jihad, after the decree by ulema.” To a question, the minister said the government could consider holding dialogue with the TTP but only if they lay down their arms. app

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