Home > News > Regional
Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 4:21:00 PM
Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 4:23:44 PM
MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: The Pakistani Taliban on Friday extended a ceasefire by six days to allow the government more time to meet their demands of releasing "non-combatant" prisoners and pulling back soldiers, the militia said in a statement.
The government began negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) through intermediaries in February to try to end the Islamists' bloody seven-year insurgency.
"We announce to extend the ceasefire till April 10 and TTP directs all Mujahedin to suspend their actions against government and security forces," spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement.
"Once again with full responsibility and seriousness TTP awaits a positive response from the government," he said and added that "despite the lapse of three days in ceasefire there was a mysterious silence on government side".
Shahid said that the umbrella militant group had only demanded the release of what they called "non-combatant" prisoners and the establishment of a "peace zone" where security forces would not be present.
Last month the Taliban handed over a list of 300 people including women, children, and old men.
"If our demands are not met, a meeting of our Shura (council) will be convened to decide future course of action," Shahid said.
On Wednesday, the government handed over 19 tribesmen based in South Waziristan, calling them "non-combatant Taliban prisoners".
But Shahid denied the men had been sought by the group or were its members.
On March 26 a four-member government committee comprising three civil servants and a former diplomat held their first meeting with members of the TTP's political council in North Waziristan tribal district.
Both sides met in Islamabad for a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan amid growing speculation that the negotiations had ended in a deadlock.
There have been suggestions that high-profile figures held by the militants, including the son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, could be freed in return.
The peace talks were a key campaign pledge for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before he was elected to office for a third time last year.
But some analysts have voiced scepticism about their chances for success, given the Taliban's demands for nation wide sharia law and a withdrawal of troops from the lawless tribal zones.
Regional deals struck in the past between the military and the Taliban have failed and some have accused the militants of using them as a means to regroup and rearm. -AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Pakistani Taliban, ceasefire, Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan, TTP, Shahidullah Shahid
Myanmar signs limited truce with rebels, but fighting persists
Reps all for cooling political tension during Ramadan
Myanmar peace process at 'crucial' stage
Anifah: Malaysia welcomes long-term ceasefire between Israel and Palestine
MH17: More needs to be done to ensure remains collected in dignified manner, says Asean
Robots to play bigger role in China’s future
125,500 VWs in S. Korea recalled
'Tokyo Story' star Setsuko Hara, muse of Ozu, dies at 95
S. Korea professor jailed for force-feeding student faeces
Dutch, Australian police bust huge child porn ring
Eight experiences you can’t miss when in Australia
Brazil's Andrade Gutierrez to admit World Cup bribes - Folha paper
VR, action cams, Star Wars emerge as early gift favourites
Air Asia free seat promotion begins today
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)