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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More