domenica 11 dicembre 2011
Pakistani Taliban Commander Says Peace Talks Under Way, But Doubts Remain
11 Dicembre 2011
A deputy commander of the Pakistani Taliban has said he is negotiating a peace deal with Pakistan's government.
The statement by Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, the deputy commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is the first time a named Taliban commander has appeared to confirm the group is in negotiations with the government.
Speaking in a telephone interview, Mohammad said his men had held talks with "relevant" government officials and that "we may soon sign a formal peace agreement" to end the group's four-year insurgency.
It is not clear that Mohammad was speaking for the entire TTP, which has become divided into numerous factions.
Neither TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud nor his spokesman have commented on the reported talks. And a person identifying himself as Dadullah, the deputy chief of the Taliban in Bajauar tribal area, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal that Mohammad was not authorized to negotiate on behalf of the TTP.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, asked about the alleged negotiations, said his government is in a "continuing process" to tackle Taliban militants but did not confirm that talks were under way.
Any truce between the TTP and the Pakistani government would likely heighten tensions between Islamabad and the United States.
American forces and their NATO allies regularly come under attack from militants who live alongside Pakistani Taliban members, and the U.S. government has accused Islamabad of not doing enough to fight the Taliban's influence.
At the end of September, Pakistan's government pledged to "give peace a chance" and talk with its homegrown militants.
Past peace pacts with the TTP have failed to bring stability.(da "Radio Free Europe")