Peace talks between Pakistan and Taliban collapse after killings

Pakistani religious cleric and member of Taliban's negotiating committee Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, left, talks with Syed Munawar Hasan, the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, during a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

ISLAMABAD: Peace talks between the Pakistani government and Taliban insurgents broke down on Monday, the government said, after insurgents executed 23 paramilitary soldiers in what they said was revenge for army operations in the volatile tribal regions.

Pakistan watchers have always been sceptical that negotiations with the outlawed militant group could ever bring results in a country where the Taliban are fighting to topple the government and set up an Islamic state.

"It is sad that we are not moving in the right direction," Irfan Siddiqui, a government negotiator, said in a statement, adding that there was now "no use" holding a planned Monday meeting with Taliban representatives.

The Taliban's arm operating in the tribal Mohmand agency said in a statement the Pakistani soldiers had been executed in revenge for the killing of their fighters by army forces. It also issued a video message in Pashto explaining its motives.

The Pakistani Taliban's main spokesman could not immediately say if Mohmand Taliban actions had been endorsed by the movemment's central command, but Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responded with anger.

"Such incidents are affecting the peace talks negatively after they started to bring a peaceful solution to the problem," Sharif said in a statement.

"Pakistan cannot afford such bloodshed. ... The situation is very sad and the whole nation is shocked."

On Thursday, the official Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for killing 13 policemen and wounding 58 by bombing their bus.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here