The Pakistani Taliban on Sunday announced preconditions for talks to end an insurgency, demanding that troops withdraw from tribal areas and that prisoners are freed.
Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had earlier welcomed the new government’s move to begin peace talks, but on Sunday listed the insurgents’ prior demands.
“First of all, troops in the entire tribal area should go back to barracks and then our prisoners should be released,” Shahid told AFP.
“Government must take steps which can develop an atmosphere of trust and can remove the doubts and suspicion.”
“We cannot move forward unless the government accepts these two demands,” Shahid said.
He was speaking after the Taliban’s shura or decision-making council held three days of talks about the government offer of dialogue.
Shura members from across the country took part in the meeting, Shahid said.