Home > News > World
Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 3:33:59 PM
Friday April 4, 2014 MYT 3:35:49 PM
by haji mujtaba
MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Pakistani Taliban have extended their March ceasefire until April 10, a spokesman said Friday, following the release of a batch of low-level prisoners by the Pakistani government.
"Tehreek-e-Taliban is once again showing seriousness and responsibility, and in order to wait for an answer from the government, is extending the ceasefire until April 10," spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said.
"Mujahideen (holy fighters) are being ordered to cease all activities against the government and security forces for this period."
The Taliban, its fighters most active in the lawless northwest of the country, announced a month-long ceasefire on March 1, but commanders were divided on whether to extend it, saying the government had failed to meet their demands.
They have presented a list of 800 prisoners they want released and have demanded that the Pakistani army withdraw from an unspecified border area near Afghanistan in order to create a "safe zone" for them.
On Thursday, the interior ministry said it had freed 16 low-level prisoners not actively involved in the insurgency as a trust-building measure with the Taliban.
It is not yet clear if the 16 men were on the list of 800 prisoners put forward by the Taliban. Shahid said the Taliban were checking.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took power last year promising to seek negotiations to end Pakistan's deadly insurgency.
The Taliban are fighting to impose a strict version of Islam across Pakistan and have said they do not recognise the democratically-elected government.
This is the second round of peace talks between the Taliban and the government. A first round in February broke down after a week, when the Taliban bombed a bus full of police then executed 23 hostages from a government paramilitary force.
(Additional reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Ron Popeski)
Pakistan PM frees 16 prisoners to try to revive Taliban peace talks
Azevedo asks for ideas as WTO hits a brick wall
Pistorius starts five-year term for killing Reeva Steenkamp
Canadian soldier dies after being run down by suspected militant
Ukraine, Russia, EU energy chiefs meet to finalise gas deal
Special Report - U.S. visa programme for crime victims is hit-or-miss prospect
Sudan's Bashir chosen by ruling party as candidate for 2015 elections
Ignore extremist views and remain united, Najib tells Malaysians
Tuilagi to miss England's November internationals
10 Marvel characters who should never get solo titles
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)