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TTP outlines conditions for dialogue with govt

04 February, 2013

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PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban urged the Muslim world to unite in a video message released on Sunday as they condemned the French military intervention in Mali as an "ideological war".

French President Francois Hollande visited Mali on Saturday and vowed his troops would stay as long as necessary to continue the fight against Islamist rebels who had taken control of the country's north for 10 months.

In a video message handed out to journalists in northwest Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan condemned the French intervention, which has had logistical support from other Western countries. "The French government has attacked mujahedeen in Mali and America has also agreed to support France. I ask the whole Muslim world to unite because it is an ideological war," Ehsan said.

He said the forces of "non-believers" were united and urged Muslims to come together. "If America is supporting France on an ideological basis then in same way all Muslims should unite and support one another."

The TTP has waged a bloody campaign against the Pakistani state in recent years and the last two months have seen a notable increase in attacks on military posts and personnel.

Ehsan repeated the conditional offer of negotiations with Islamabad.

But he said they could only go ahead if certain politicians, including Nawaz Sharif, who leads leader of the main opposition party, the PML-N, acted as guarantors.

"We do not trust the Pakistan army, it has always broken past agreements, even agreements we made with politicians," Ehsan said in the seven-and-a-half minute video, in which he appeared flanked by armed masked men.

"We need solid guarantors who can assure us about the army, because the army is the real power in Pakistan."

He said the TTP needed assurances from Nawaz and the leaders of the two largest religious parties — Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl, led by Pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami, headed.

KP govt ready to negotiate with terrorists: Iftikhar

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information, Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said dialogue with terrorists was the top most priority of the government for lasting peace in the region.

This he said while distributing distribution of warm cloths under the banner of an NGO Rashid Hussain Shaheed Foundation (RSF), which were donated by Poverty Eradication Initiatives) at Pabbi.

He said that before starting dialogue process with the terrorists ,provincial government would conven all parties conference with the sole aim to devise a future plan of action in consent with all the political forces.

He said that contacts with all political parties have been completed and excluding one party and all have expressed their consent for participation. He hoped that after completion of this process, the Taliban would also form a powerful body for dialogue.

He said that the President of Pakistan, Federal government and Army Chief would also be taken on board on this process. He said that the dialogue meant to give a safe passage to the terrorist, and bring them in to the mainstream of the country.

He said that he spared his whole life for the selfless services of the needy masses and after the martyrdom of only son Mian Rashid Hussain Shaheed, Now, taking part in noble tasks was the only aim of his life and he would materialize this sacred aim under the banner of Rashid Hussain Shaheed Foundation (RSF), he said.

End.

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