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Iran Press TV

Taliban reject talk offer by Pakistani prime minister

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:11PM GMT

A pro-Taliban spokesman has rejected a recent offer by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to hold peace talks with militant groups operating across the violence-wracked country.

Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesman for the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said he has credible information that Pakistani military was devising plans to launch an all-out operation against the group in coming days.

"They should happily launch a military operation against us. We have seen their military operations in the past and would like them to start this long-awaited operation," Shahid said defiantly, adding, "Like previous governments this one is a puppet of the United States. It's powerless and dollar-hungry."

Shahid is the senior member of a death squad of the militant group that has carried out several terrorist attacks across Pakistan over the past few years.

The top militant leader also accused Premier Sharif of threatening to use force if the Taliban didn't come to a negotiation table.

The remarks by the top militant came hours after Sharif and his cabinet members called for peace talks with the pro-Taliban militant groups.

Pakistani government said it will use military action as a last resort to address the issues of extremism and militancy.

Sharif has been an advocate of peace talks with Taliban militants since his election campaign which ended in his May victory.

Pro-Taliban militants have increased their attacks across Pakistan since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power in May.

Militants have carried out numerous attacks against security forces as well as civilians, and managed to spread their influence in various regions of the country, despite sporadic offensives by the Pakistani Army.

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001 when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US on the so-called war on terror, according to local media.]

Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.

JR/PR



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