News / Asia

Taliban Questions Pakistani Government Talk Conditions

Maulana Abdul Aziz, center, in the background, the Red Mosque cleric and member of the Taliban negotiating team, addresses a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 7, 2014.
Maulana Abdul Aziz, center, in the background, the Red Mosque cleric and member of the Taliban negotiating team, addresses a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 7, 2014.
Sharon Behn
A Taliban representative on Friday questioned a key term set out by the Pakistani government for negotiations with the militant group.

Negotiations to end years of violent militancy in Pakistan hit a hurdle just one day after talks began between the government and the Pakistani Taliban.

On Friday, a member of the three-man Taliban-appointed team of negotiators questioned a government condition that the talks be held within the parameters of Pakistan’s constitution.

Islamist leader Maulana Abdul Aziz said the Quran, not the constitution, was the only document that should be respected.

"The Taliban does not recognize the constitution, and you are insisting that the talks should be according to the constitution. You should say these talks should be according to the Quran, then matters can proceed. But when you put this condition it will delay the process,” he said.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban, an umbrella group of Islamist militants fighting the state of Pakistan, aims to bring its version of strict Islamist law to the country.

The Taliban itself did not issue any direct statement on the peace negotiations.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said Friday the government was still committed to the peace process.

Previous attempts at ending the militancy through negotiation have failed.

A Pakistan counterterrorism expert at the Washington-based Institute for National Strategic Studies, Michael Kofman, believed these talks were headed the same way.

“I personally don’t think it can be very successful. The reason why I think that is that there is really no impetus for the Pakistan Taliban to negotiate with the government. They are technically on the winning end of the equation,” he said.

Kofman also felt there was little support for the talks from the powerful Pakistani military, which has taken considerable casualties in its fight against the militants.

Kofman said much could also depend on what kind of power the Afghan Taliban gathered in neighboring Afghanistan once the U.S. and international forces left that country at the end of 2014.

He said, “Now they are looking at the negotiations of Afghan Taliban with Kabul and they are saying let’s see what kind of deal the Afghan Taliban can get, because if the Afghan Taliban can get a good deal, then maybe that means maybe we are in a much better negotiating position with Islamabad, right?”

The Pakistani Taliban takes refuge in the mountainous border region between the two countries. Kofman says his opinions do not necessarily reflect those of his organization.

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Asif from: Long Beach CA
February 07, 2014 12:04 PM
Mr. Michael Kofman, You really need to do your homework. If anyone who is coming on top is the ISI. They have likely negotiated end or perhaps destruction of Pakistani Taliban after the American leaves. Can you tell why?

by: dixiedog44 from: Bossier City, LA
February 07, 2014 11:40 AM
It's hard to take a Liars Club negotiation seriously.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs