Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Pakistani Taliban quits peace talks with gov't

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    Tuesday, April 29, 2008

    Pakistani Taliban quits peace talks with gov't

    Map showing the districts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) FATA and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan.Image via WikipediaPakistani Taliban quits peace talks with gov't

    ISLAMABAD, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Taliban said Monday they had suspended peace talks with the government as "the government has refused to accept their demand of troops withdrawal from the tribal regions."

    The News Network International news agency quoted Taliban spokesman Maulvi Umar as saying that the dialogue process had been deadlocked as "the government has refused to accept key demands."

    The army spokesman did not comment over the Taliban statement.

    Maulvi Umar said Taliban representatives who were holding talks with the tribal elders, mediating between the two sides, had quit the talks due to the government's attitude.

    Maulvi Umar said that Taliban wanted troops be withdrawn from the tribal regions and the Swat valley before a formal agreement but the government did not agree to the proposal.

    He said Taliban had attached expectations to the new government but now "we have realized that the statements of goodwill from the government side were hollow slogans".

    Maulvi Umar claimed that the government was not sincere and serious in the talks. He warned that the government would be responsible if the militants took any action. He also said that some government institutions do not want success of Taliban-government dialogue process.

    The Pakistani Taliban, led by Baitullah Mehsood, declared a ceasefire with the government and entered into dialogue with the government to end violence.

    The new government announced to hold talks with the militants who would lay down arms.

    Taliban presented four demands to the government including withdrawal of army from South Waziristan tribal region and Swat valley, exchange of prisoners, compensation to the affected people in Waziristan and Swat and free movement of Taliban activists.

    Tribal elders have been mediating between the Taliban and the government to broker a peace deal and to end violence in the tribal regions and the restive Swat valley in the country's northwest.

    Editor: Mu Xuequan

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