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Pakistani Taliban demand release of prisoners

Pakistani Taliban Sunday demanded the release of their prisoners and withdrawal of army from the country\'s restive tribal regions, which it says could be part of confidence building measures for the possible peace talks, Xinhua reported.

Published: 16th September 2013 09:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2013 09:55 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Pakistani Taliban Sunday demanded the release of their prisoners and withdrawal of army from the country's restive tribal regions, which it says could be part of confidence building measures for the possible peace talks, Xinhua reported.

Taliban set conditions after a parliamentary conference, hosted by the government in Islamabad Sep 9, called upon the government to initiate dialogue with the militants.

Taliban spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said the group would trust the government's powers and intention if the Taliban prisoners are freed and the troops are withdrawn from the tribal areas.

"The government should show sincerity and prove its powers ahead of peace talks," Shahid told the media.

He said a three-day meeting of the central council of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was held with the chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the chair, and asked the government to take such steps to build trust.

"We still doubt the government's powers and its sincerity. Talks will be useful when we realise that the government has powers," the spokesperson said.

"The governments in the past did not honour their promises to us and we do not want the same to be repeated again," Shahid said.

Political analysts are of the view that the government will not accept the Taliban demands unless the talks begin and make progress.

They are also surprised that on one hand the Taliban are making demands but on the other they have continued attacks on Pakistani forces.

They are of the opinion that conditions will make the peace process complicated.

Taliban's attack in the country's northwest area, which resulted into the killing of two senior officers, has prompted strong condemnation across the country.

Analysts also believe that such attacks could mount pressure on the government to review plan for talks with the Taliban.

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