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No talks with Taliban: Rehman Malik

world Updated: Dec 12, 2011 11:51 IST
IANS
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The government would not hold talks with Pakistani Taliban, which is responsible for a string of terror attacks, until the terrorists surrender, said interior minister Rehman Malik.

Malik on Sunday denied media reports about negotiations between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and said: "I talked to stakeholders in Bajaur who confirm that there are no talks with them."

Differences in the ranks of Pakistani Taliban appeared on Sunday as two senior commanders denied a latest claim by their senior leader Maulvi Faqir Muhammad that the militants are in talks with the Pakistani government, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

The minister said if Maulvi Faqir, deputy chief of TTP, wants to hold talks with the government, he should come down from hills, lay down arms and surrender himself, then there would be chances to hold negotiations.

"If TTP surrenders, definitely the government would consider talks," he was quoted as saying.

On reports that some Taliban have been released, he said there is no truth in it and Maulvi Faqir is spreading disinformation in this regard.

Malik said: "We know the capacity of the Taliban, and appreciate Pakistan's armed forces which fought bravely against the terrorists in Swat and Malakand and overpowered them within record time."

Maulvi Faqir called mediapersons Saturday and confirmed the talks with Islamabad, reported Xinhua. He also claimed that the talks are progressing well and Pakistan has freed 145 Taliban militants as a goodwill gesture and the Taliban in return have promised a ceasefire.

The Taliban want a halt to the ongoing military operation in the tribal areas, release of all rebels, withdrawal of Pakistani security forces from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and compensation to those tribesmen who were impacted during the military operations.

They also want that military operations against them should not be launched at the behest of the US.