News / Asia

Pakistan: Taliban Peace Efforts Continue Despite US Strike

FILE - Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is during his meeting with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, Oct. 4, 2009.FILE - Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is during his meeting with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, Oct. 4, 2009.
x
FILE - Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is during his meeting with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, Oct. 4, 2009.
FILE - Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, is during his meeting with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border, Oct. 4, 2009.
Sharon Behn
Pakistan's government is insisting that negotiating a peaceful end to the decade-long militant insurgency in the country was the only way forward, despite a U.S. drone strike that killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. Over the weekend, top officials had angrily decried the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, saying it had sabotaged nascent peace talks with the militant group.

But on Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif renewed his call for peace talks and reintegration as a way of ending the decade long Taliban insurgency in the country.

He said, “Our government, ladies and gentlemen ... is firmly resolved to bringing the cycle of bloodshed and violence to an end, but it cannot be done overnight, nor can it be done by unleashing senseless force against our citizens, without first making every effort to bring the misguided and confused elements of society back to the mainstream.”

His measured words appeared to dial back some of the fury expressed by Pakistani officials over the weekend that a U.S. drone attack had sabotaged all chances of dialogue with the Pakistan Taliban by killing the militant leader Hakimullah Mehsud.
According to official media, Prime Minister Sharif has directed his interior minister to consult with political leaders on a way forward. It was crucial, Mr. Sharif said to be unified.

"We also have to ensure that the political parties, military and the civil society are on the same page, so as to create the enabling environment necessary to tackle this menace," he said.

The Taliban, a network of some 30 militant groups, has nominated Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani as their new interim leader. Analysts say the indecision regarding who should be their permanent leader reflects power conflicts within the organization.
Mehsud was killed in a drone strike as a Pakistani government team was on its way to negotiate terms of peace talks with the militants. The incident, analysts say, was deeply embarrassing for the government, and over the weekend Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan lashed out at Washington, calling for a review of Pakistan-U.S. relations.

But political analyst and professor, Rasul Baksh Rais, says Mehsud's death was privately welcomed by many.

"In their heart of hearts, security forces, politicians, government officials and the society at large must be pretty relaxed and pretty satisfied that a most wanted man is gone," he said.

Rais adds that the militants, faced with the loss of one of the Taliban's most ruthless leaders and constant pressure from Pakistan security forces, will eventually return to the negotiating table.

"We have lost an opportunity which was in the making, but everybody will eventually come back to the negotiating table, that is the only way out, because the Taliban has been sent a very strong message - not for the first time, many times," he said.

Rais warned however, that the Taliban might first make a show of force through more violent attacks in the country.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid