News / Asia

Pakistan Wants Talks With Insurgents Despite Attacks

A relative attends to a man, who was injured in a bomb blast, after he was brought to a hospital for treatment in Hangu district, bordering North Waziristan, Pakistan, Oct. 3, 2013.
A relative attends to a man, who was injured in a bomb blast, after he was brought to a hospital for treatment in Hangu district, bordering North Waziristan, Pakistan, Oct. 3, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Despite a recent series of bloody militant attacks in the country’s northwest, Pakistan insists it is determined to pursue peace talks with Islamist insurgents to bring an end to the violence.
 
Pakistan has witnessed several deadly bombings within the past two weeks that have killed nearly 200 people. Most of the bloodshed has occurred in and around the northwestern city of Peshawar, including a massive suicide attack on Christian worshipers.
 
The latest violent incident happened on Thursday near the insurgency-plagued northwestern tribal district, Orakzai, when a suicide bomber killed at least 17 people believed to be helping the government in its anti-militancy efforts.
 
The ongoing violence has prompted many to question Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s plans, backed by political parties across the board, to seek peace talks with the Islamist militants who are waging an insurgency under an umbrella organization called Terhik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP.
 
Despite the rise in violent attacks and resulting criticism, the prime minister’s adviser on national security and foreign policy, Sartaj Aziz, on Thursday defended the government’s policy.
 
“I think despite these incidents the dialogue option should be pursued, because Taliban are many groups and many of them do want to [engage in talks], and they have unanimously said that they want to pursue the dialogue. There are some elements who would like to disrupt the dialogue but the whole purpose of the dialogue is to put an end to such incidents,” said Aziz.
 
The Taliban claimed responsibility for Thursday’s suicide car bombing, but the group has denied involvement in other recent attacks, including a twin suicide bombing targeting a church in Peshawar that killed more than 80 members of the minority Christian community.
 
Taliban extremists have demanded the government release all militant prisoners and remove Pakistani troops from the northwestern tribal region, where insurgents are entrenched, before they engage in peace talks. The militants are also demanding an end to the U.S. drone strikes in the tribal areas.
 
Aziz reiterated that the drone campaign violates Pakistan’s sovereignty and said collateral damage from such attacks is fueling militancy. He stated that Pakistani authorities have taken up this issue with American leaders, and the prime minister also raised it in his address last week to the United Nations General Assembly.
 
“So, we will continue our pressure on this subject and I hope the U.S. will find it reasonable, particularly in terms of not achieving the objectives, that it is counterproductive and they will therefore respond and stop the drone attacks in the tribal areas,” said Aziz.
 
Taliban militants also want Pakistan to end its alliance with the United States, alleging the country has become part of an anti-Muslim war. National Security Adviser Aziz says one of the main objectives of the government in seeking talks with the Taliban is to do away with this perception.

Pakistani commentators, analysts and newspapers editorials have consistently criticized and advised the government against a peace dialogue with the militants. They insist the country's constitution does not allow the government to engage in such negotiations with armed groups that condemn Pakistan's political system as un-Islamic and want to impose through violent means their brand of Islamic system.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens 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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs