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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid