Free prisoners, pull troops back from Fata: Taliban
16 September, 2013
PESHAWAR: The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said its Shura after a meeting resolved that it expected the government to take certain confidence-building measures, including the release of Taliban prisoners and pulling back troops from the field to their camps, before formal peace talks.
The TTP spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, told our sources via telephone from an undisclosed location in the tribal areas that their Shura did not agree with the widespread observation that they would definitely hold peace talks with the government.
"Our Shura still doubts the sincerity and the intentions of the government. These aren't pre-conditions, but we expect the government to take certain confidence building measures and release our prisoners and pull back troops to their barracks in the tribal areas to create the right atmosphere for talks," the TTP spokesman said.
Shahidullah Shahid said he was away for some time and his colleagues were officiating as TTP spokesmen in his place. Hepointed out that the TTP didn't want to waste time and allow the mind of their fighters to be polluted by all this talk of negotiations without the right conditions being created.
"The TTP will put forward its demands when the formal peace talks begin. Until then certain steps should be taken by the government to remove our doubts about its seriousness for talks. The government has yet to send a jirga or make new contacts with us," he said.
When asked about the claims of a Kohat politician that he had received a message from the TTP that there were no pre-conditions for talks and that its Shura hasn't met yet, the TTP spokesman said certain politicians were making all sorts of claims though they had not established any contact with the top TTP leadership and weren't authorised to say or do anything on its behalf.