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.

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Comment Sorting
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.

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