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Iran Press TV

Pakistan govt. ends first round of talks with Taliban

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 6, 2014 4:54PM GMT

Preliminary controversial peace talks between the Pakistani government and pro-Taliban militants have ended in Islamabad.

The first session lasted about three hours at a location in Pakistan's capital city, Islamabad, on Thursday.

The two sides issued a joint statement calling for a ceasefire and an end to any action that could harm the peace efforts.

This was the first round of such negotiations aimed at ending the bloody insurgency by the militant group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

On Wednesday, the TTP said there was no chance of peace in Pakistan unless Islamabad embraced the Wahhabi laws across the militancy-riddled country.

The militants are also demanding that US-led forces withdraw completely from neighboring Afghanistan.

At the first session, the Islamabad government listed the following five basic conditions:

• All talks should be held within the framework of the constitution;
• The scope of the talks should remain confined to areas affected by violence, not the whole country;
• All hostilities should cease during talks;
• The Taliban should clarify the role of a separate nine-member committee that they have established;
• The talks should not be protracted.

Meanwhile, several prominent Pakistani politicians are deeply skeptical about the ongoing controversial talks and see it as a sign of weakness on the part of the government.

Senior military officials have also repeatedly said militants cannot "coerce" Islamabad into accepting their terms in the government-initiated peace process.

Pakistani government has said it will use an all-out military action as a last resort to address the issues of extremism and militancy in the country

JR/AB/SS



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