Govt started war, will have to declare ceasefire first: Taliban

Govt started war, will have to declare ceasefire first: Taliban
AFP

MIRANSHAH: As the Pakistani government has refused to hold talks with the Taliban unless they halt attacks, the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Friday asked the government to declare a ceasefire first.
According to reports, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said the government has started the war when it should have initiated a ceasefire.
“We have been fighting a defensive war for 10 years,” Shahidullah Shahid told a press conference, adding that the government should stop the operation immediately.
Shahid said that the Taliban still wish to engage in peace dialogue to solve the country’s problems. “We were ready to talks before and are ready now,” he stated.
Shahid said the government wanted Taliban to accept the constitution of Pakistan through dialogue but this constitution did not have a single Islamic clause in it.
The Taliban’s statement comes after the government decided to pull the plug on the peace talks with the Taliban, as the prime minister and the military leadership decided that “proceeding with the peace talks amid the bombings and slaughter of soldiers would be injustice to terror victims”.
The TTP leadership said that it does not accept the constitution of Pakistan and claimed that it has the backing of majority of Pakistani clerics.
Shahidullah Shahid and TTP Shura member Tariq Azam said that dialogue with the government committee was taking place under the guidance of their chief Mullah Fazalullah.
They said that Mullah Fazlullah was not in Afghanistan but in tribal areas of Pakistan. 
They held the government dialogue committee responsible for the deadlock in talks and said that they could not proceed ahead because of the non-seriousness of the committee.
The Taliban leader claimed that their 70 comrades were killed after being taken out of jails and the killing of 23 FC personnel was retaliation by the Mohmand Taliban. They said that Mohmand Taliban take their own decisions and do not consult with Taliban’s political Shura.
The Taliban leaders said that their present war was defensive one and claimed that they want enforcement of Islamic system based on Shairah. They said not a single Article of Pakistani constitution was Islamic.
Asked why they don’t come to parliament to make laws, Taliban leaders said that they do not need to mould public opinion for the enforcement of Shariah. They are making the demand for Islamic system from the government of Islamic republic of Pakistan and not from the United States, they said. The Taliban leaders termed the statement of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that there are 70 TTP groups as “mere propaganda”.

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