Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on Monday it is currently engaged in exploratory talks with the Pakistani government. A senior Taliban commander, who asked not to be named, told reporters; “Yes, we have been holding talks but this is just an initial phase. We will see if there is a breakthrough.” He said the group did not want to fight, but Pakistan’s decisions to support the occupying American forces in Afghanistan left them with no choice.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told reporters Islamabad was willing to negotiate with the Taliban, including the Haqqani network. He however warned military operations would be launched if dialogue failed to materialize. Gilani said the group would be asked to decommission themselves before the negotiations.
The Taliban has welcomed the talks, but have reinstated their demands that the government should withdraw its support for the US, and impose Shariah law in the country.