News / Asia

    Pakistani Taliban End Ceasefire

    Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who says next round of talk with Taliban will take place in days, speaks during a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 13, 2014.
    Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who says next round of talk with Taliban will take place in days, speaks during a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, April 13, 2014.
    Ayaz Gul
    Islamist militants in Pakistan, referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, have formally ended a 40-day cease-fire that they called to engage in peace talks with the government. The move has raised fears of renewed suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the country.  

    The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan -- a loose alliance of militant outfits -- began observing the cease-fire on March 1. It expired about a week ago.
     
    The ceasefire led to a reduction in militant violence in the country and facilitated one round of direct talks between government negotiators and Taliban leaders.  

    Moreover, authorities recently claimed to have released a group of low-level non-combatant Taliban prisoners to further the peace process.
     
    On Wednesday, however, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Shahidullah Shahid, announced that the group's central leadership has unanimously decided to end the ceasefire, accusing the government of failing to respond positively to Taliban demands.
     
    He insisted the group would be willing to continue the peace process if the government responds positively to its demands.

    The militants have been demanding release of non-combatant prisoners and establishment of a so-called “peace zone” where Taliban leaders could move freely while they engage in talks with government negotiators. They also want suspension of military operations against Taliban associates.
     
    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been pursuing peace negotiations rather than ordering fresh army offensives to tackle years of militant violence that has killed thousands of Pakistanis.

    Critics question whether it is possible to engage in peace talks with a group that advocates the overthrow of the government and seeks imposition of its brand of Islam in the country by violent means.   
     
    Prominent attorney and human rights activist Asma Jahangir said the government’s anti-militancy policy seems to be going nowhere. She questioned the release of so-called non-combatant Taliban prisoners, fearing these men can pose a threat to those involved in bringing them to justice.
     
    “I don’t know how they come to that conclusion that they are non-combatants because all those that they have released have very serious allegations and accusations against them," said Jahangir. "And when these people were arrested, investigated, prosecuted and in some cases even convicted, lawyers, police officers and the judges took risks for their lives in ensuring that justice is given. So, how do you imagine that they [lawyers, police officers and judges] are going to now again put their lives at risk to get people convicted when the government has no straight forward policy.”
     
    Critics oppose peace deals with the Pakistani Taliban, saying the militants resort to such tactics only to gain time to regroup and reorganize their ranks, justas they have done during past agreements.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
    April 16, 2014 11:48 PM
    Nawaz Shariff is very weak and coward PM in the history of Pakistan. His main aim is to pass time and establish new business houses in Riyadh. He has good business interest in Riyadh rather than in Pakistan. So any body can imagine level of confidence on him self, when his investment out side Pakistan more than Pakistan investments. All his party members have property out side Pakistan, children are taking education out side Pakistan,Family enjoy their life out side Pakistan. There main aim in Pakistan to multiply their assets in dollars and not in Pakistani Rupees. Every body knows from day one what would be out come from meeting with Terrorist TALIBAN but coward NS always optimistic. For the sack of few more days in Govt, he is willing to release terrorist. Nawaz Shariff is sending world famous terrorist to Syria and Bahrain as to please Saudi Arabia. These terrorist will kill innocent peoples and rape girls and woman and all this drama in the name of ISLAM. Nawaz Shariff is sending weapons to Syrian Terroist against Saudi arabia AID. He is making life for common Pakistani very very miserable. There is no food,electricity and even drinking water for poor Pakistani. Nawaz Shariff Cabinet is more then 100 Ministers,Secertary,Cabinet Ministers and so on. NS wants to please his party members by giving them good postion with no accountability. Poor Pakistani are in very bad shape they were optimistic after departure of Zardari(Living lavish life with family members and party members in Dubai) to get fresh air but so far every day they used to get promise and killing of Pakistni 30 per day.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora