News / Asia

    Pakistani Minister Welcomes Taliban Negotiation Offer

    Mourners carry the coffin of senior Pakistani lawmaker Bashir Ahmed Bilour, who died in a suicide attack targeting a meeting of his anti-Taliban Awami National Party, Peshawar, Dec. 23, 2012.
    Mourners carry the coffin of senior Pakistani lawmaker Bashir Ahmed Bilour, who died in a suicide attack targeting a meeting of his anti-Taliban Awami National Party, Peshawar, Dec. 23, 2012.
    VOA News
    Officials in northwest Pakistan say they welcome the Pakistani Taliban's offer to negotiate with the government.
     
    In a video released to news outlets, Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud said his group is open to talks with the government if Pakistan cuts ties to the United States. Mehsud also said asking the Taliban to disarm before any negotiations was not an option.
     
    On Friday, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province's Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said the government was not asking the Taliban to give up their weapons ahead of any meaningful dialogue.
     
    "We have not talked of surrender of arms; what we have said is that violence can be renounced, which is important for negotiations," Hussain said. "We are aware of our traditions, and surrendering arms is difficult, but to renounce violence is in line with the tradition."
     
    The information minister said it is now up to the Taliban to form a negotiation team with the mandate to talk peace.
     
    "We are ready to help the federal government if asked for assistance in negotiations with the Taliban," Hussain added. 
     
    The Taliban has been blamed for a number of attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan's neighboring tribal agencies.
     
    A suicide blast Saturday in the provincial capital, Peshawar, killed nine people, including a top provincial minister. The bomber struck a meeting of the Awami National Party. Among those killed was Bashir Ahmed Bilour, number two to the chief minister the province.
     
    The United States has carried out a number of drone strikes against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants in Pakistan's northwest. Pakistani security officials said the latest strike took place Friday and killed four suspected militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency along the Afghan border.
     
    Pakistan has condemned such attacks, saying they violate the country's sovereignty. U.S. officials, who rarely speak publicly about drone strikes, say they are crucial to the fight against militants.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Kafantaris from: Ohio
    December 29, 2012 10:05 PM
    The Taliban is the cancer of Pakistan, with the country's only hope being in removing it.
    Enough effort spent in appeasing these recalcitrant fools.
    No more deals, no more waiting and no more mercy. They have shown none for us.
    Force is the only thing these savages understand and force -- unrelenting and brutal -- is what they shall get.

    by: DON from: Australia
    December 28, 2012 10:57 PM
    The taliban are nothing short of an evil murdering group and a waste of space . If they want to do something intelligent put their guns in their mouth and pull the trigger and rid this earth of the vermin that they are.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora