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Malik denies reports of 'Taliban ceasefire with Pak govt.' in favour of peace talks

Islamabad, Wed, 23 Nov 2011 ANI

Islamabad, Nov 23 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that although the Government had asked the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for dialogue, no talk can take place until the militant outfit decides to give up their arms and terrorism.


"There is nothing formal regarding talks with Taliban. The Taliban usually send messages to us and I also sometimes conveyed them a message so that peace could prevail. But it is clear if the Taliban want to shake hands with us they would have to get rid of their arms," The Express as Tribune quoted Malik, as saying.


"We are happy they have realized that killing of innocent people is wrong and the only way forward is the path of peace," he added.


Earlier, reports had suggested that the Pakistani Taliban had declared a ceasefire with the Government of Pakistan in support of peace talks.


A senior commander of the militant group had reportedly claimed in a media report that the ceasefire had been in place for the past month.


The Army had earlier denied news reports that stated it was engaged in negotiations with the Taliban. In a statement issued through the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military negated news reports published by foreign news agencies that claimed the Pakistani government and army were engaging in peace talks with the militant outfit.


"The army is not undertaking any kind of negotiations with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or its affiliated militant groups. Such reports are concocted, baseless and unfounded," the spokeperson said.


A senior TTP militant commander had said on Monday that the banned group was engaging in initial peace talks with the Pakistan government and military.


"Peace talks are continuing with the Pakistani government and army. We have had two rounds of such talks," one senior Taliban commander had claimed. (ANI)


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