News / Asia

Pakistan-Taliban Talks on Verge of Collapse

Pakistani religious cleric and member of Taliban's negotiating committee Maulana Sami-ul-Haq speaks during a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Feb. 15, 2014.
Pakistani religious cleric and member of Taliban's negotiating committee Maulana Sami-ul-Haq speaks during a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Feb. 15, 2014.
Sharon Behn
Pakistan’s attempts at peace talks with Taliban militants appeared on the edge of collapse Thursday.

Interior Minister Choudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the civilian government and the nation’s powerful military have agreed: negotiations with the militants cannot proceed in the face of repeated terrorist attacks.

Khan said Pakistan’s security forces have the right to defend themselves, and what was witnessed in the past 24 hours is a reflection of that.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
The statement followed military strikes early Thursday against militant targets in the tribal area of North Waziristan which killed at least 35 militants.
 
The strikes were in retaliation to attacks against Pakistani security forces, including the execution of 23 soldiers who were held hostage by militants in neighboring Afghanistan.
 
Pakistan conveyed a strong protest to the Afghan government that the killing took place on their soil.
 
According to analyst Anatol Lieven of King’s College Department of War Studies in London, there appears to be a strong will in the Pakistani military to launch offensives against the Taliban in North Wazirisitan, an area they have shied away from in the past.
 
“The high command of the military has, I think, genuinely come to recognize in recent years the extent of the Pakistani Taliban threat,” he said, adding that the civilian government appeared less convinced.
 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif previously said that dialogue with the Tehreek-e-Taliban would be a cornerstone of his administration. But talks broke down earlier this week.
 
The Tehreek-e-Taliban, a loose network of Islamist militants, now operates across large areas of the country, including the main Punjab province, and the southern port city of Karachi.
 
Lieven said that could prove to be a major challenge.

“I suspect that we will see intensified action in the tribal areas, coupled with increased terrorism elsewhere in the country,” he said.
 
Khan announced Thursday that the government is beefing up its security systems in and around the capital, Islamabad.  But he dismissed a report that there were terrorist “sleeper cells” in the city.
 
Despite the military action, he said the government is still ready to sit down with the Taliban to seek a political end to the violence.

Analysts agree there appear to be increasing divisions within the Taliban, between those who want a settlement with the government and others who are determined to continue fighting.
 
But some analysts say peace talks are not likely to succeed because the demands of the Pakistani Taliban are so extreme that if the government were to accede to them, it would in effect mean the end of the Pakistani state.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MikeBarnett from: USA
February 20, 2014 1:43 PM
Pakistan's situation became complicated because its eastern border was determined by war with India, while its northwestern border was created by the British Empire that split the Pashtun tribes to let Britain divide and rule. The Taliban, who arose from the Pashtun tribes during the Afghan Civil War in the 1990's, are on both sides of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. Its borders and relationships with its tribes remain unsettled.

Fortunately, China has sold it combat aircraft and transferred technology for Pakistan to build its own planes that have been used to bomb militant targets. China has built and sold 3 warships and transferred technology for Pakistan to build future warships. The first three have been used to fight Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean. China has sent 16 flotillas to combat Somali piracy with the International Naval Force. China, Russia, and 4 central Asian countries in the SCO have agreed to watch Afghanistan after the US and NATO leave in 2014, so Pakistan will not be alone in conflict against the Taliban and other threats after 2014.


by: Mr. Mitch from: USA
February 20, 2014 9:18 AM
Is it because a world population in the billions necessitates the thinning of the herd? Wouldn't birth control be preferable to death control? I swear, I can see the day coming when gay people will be hailed as having the highest degree of social awareness.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid