Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pakistani Taliban declare nationwide cease-fire

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban has declared a cease-fire to encourage nascent peace talks with the government, a senior commanders said, a move that appears to show the deadly group’s willingness to strike a deal with state.

The commander said the cease-fire has been in effect for the past month and was valid throughout the country.

”We are not attacking the Pakistan army and government installations because of the peace process,” he said late Monday. The commander is close to Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Taliban.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not the official spokesman of the insurgent network.

His statement adds credence to recent announcements by anonymous Taliban and intelligence officials that government intermediaries recently met Taliban commanders to talk about a possible peace deal.

The government has not officially commented, and on Tuesday the Pakistani army denied it was involved in any talks.

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