Taliban extend ceasefire, ask govt to meet demands


MIRANSHAH: The Pakistani Taliban on Friday extended a ceasefire by six days to allow the government more time to meet their demands of releasing “non-combatant” prisoners and pulling back soldiers, the militia said in a statement.
“We announce to extend the ceasefire till April 10 and TTP directs all Mujahedin to suspend their actions against government and security forces,” spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement. “Once again with full responsibility and seriousness TTP awaits a positive response from the government,” he said and added that “despite the lapse of three days in ceasefire there was a mysterious silence on government side”. Shahid said that the umbrella militant group had only demanded the release of what they called “non-combatant” prisoners and the establishment of a “peace zone” where security forces would not be present.
Last month the Taliban handed over a list of 300 people including women, children, and old men. “If our demands are not met, a meeting of our Shura (council) will be convened to decide future course of action,” Shahid said. On Wednesday, the government handed over 19 tribesmen based in South Waziristan, calling them “non-combatant Taliban prisoners”. But Shahid denied the men had been sought by the group or were its members. 

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