News / Asia

    Taliban Takes 'Positive' Approach to Pakistan Peace Talks

    Maulana Sami ul-Haq (R), one of the Taliban negotiators, reads a joint statement with Irfan Siddiqui, a government negotiator, during a news conference in Islamabad, Feb. 6, 2014.
    Maulana Sami ul-Haq (R), one of the Taliban negotiators, reads a joint statement with Irfan Siddiqui, a government negotiator, during a news conference in Islamabad, Feb. 6, 2014.
    Sharon Behn
    The Taliban-appointed team to negotiations with the Pakistan government say the militant leaders have adopted a "positive" attitude to peace talks held last week with the government. The government says the negotiations are just one aspect of their counter-terrorism policy.
     
    Maulana Yusuf Shah, a member of the Taliban-nominated peace negotiation team, returned from the northwestern tribal North Waziristan province Monday, saying he was encouraged by the Pakistani militant group’s reactions to the government's latest outreach.
     
    He said the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban -- the "shura", or council of elders -- had adopted a very positive attitude and gave a very positive response to the government's overtures. He said he remains hopeful.
     
    The Taliban representatives had traveled by helicopter to the remote tribal area to gather the militant's response to the government-initiated peace talks that opened last week in Islamabad.
     
    Shah said US-controlled drones were buzzing the skies overhead as talks with the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, Tehreek-e-Taliban militants, took place.
     
    Shah declined to outline the Pakistani Taliban’s full response to the Pakistan government’s conditions for formal peace talks, namely, that the formal discussions are held within the framework of the nation’s current constitution, and focus only on the insurgency in the northwest.
     
    Local media reports had said the militant group had laid out a number of counter demands, including the imposition of strict Islamic law in Pakistan.
     
    It is not clear when the government and Taliban negotiating teams will meet again.

    Pakistani National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor Sartaj Aziz said the talks are just part of the complex picture of militant violence in Pakistan.
     
    “We have inherited a very complex problem, after [2001], 9/11, when all the people who we had jointly trained with America, trained, funded and armed to fight the Russians, were pushed into our side of the border, so we need a very concerted, long/medium-term strategy to deal with this problem,” said Aziz.
     
    Despite Pakistani government efforts, violence continues unabated in the country.
     
    Over the weekend, separatist militants blew up three gas pipelines in southwestern Pakistan. Gunmen shot and killed eight people in the southern city of Karachi, and a suicide bomber in the northern city of Peshawar on Monday left four people dead.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Syed Abdur Rahim from: Pakistan
    February 12, 2014 12:03 AM
    Nawaz Sharif is the most incapable man in Pakistan. He is taking loan to run Pakistan. Was crying in Swiss Account but now made zardari 'angle'. Zardari and Nawaz will rule Pakistan. After them bilawal and mariam (this is united kingdom of Pakistan between two families). Syed Musharraf delivered good and got rid of IMF. He crushed terrorism but nawaz is having dialogue who are imposing their Fazlullah (the terrorist) as Khalifa of Pakistan and also dictating nawaz, india is pressing nawaz. Musharraf crushed terrorism and also talked eye ball to eye ball with other countries including India (he took decision to save Pakistan after 9/11 which is historic). But since Musharraf is muhajir he lacs nationality he is being tried. This will only make altaf strong.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.