The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Friday said the Taliban were ready for talks despite recent bombardment of their hideouts in North Waziristan region, which they said was a proof of the government's insincerity.
Speaking to journalists from an undisclosed location, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the war has been started by the government and it should also take the lead for a ceasefire, reported Dawn online. The peace talks between the government and the Taliban committee have been called off after the TTP Sunday claimed that they killed 23 security personnel whom they had taken hostage in 2010 near the Afghanistan border.
Shahid said the Taliban were aiming to resolve issues through talks whereas the government was more focused on establishing its writ and the supremacy of the constitution, which he said did not have a single element reflecting Islamic injunctions. He said the TTP was serious about the dialogue, and added the negotiators representing it were more independent than those on the government committee.
Speaking to media later, Ibrahim Khan of the Jamaat-i-Islami, who is also a negotiator for the TTP, said the constitution was based on the injunctions of Islam and democratic in spirit. Khan said the constitution had been signed by key religious figures, and that he would comment on Shahid's statement if the subject is later brought up by the TTP's political shura. The TTP said they killed the security personnel in revenge for what they called "extra-judicial killing" of their detained activists.
A four-member government negotiating team immediately pulled out of the peace talks with the Taliban committee scheduled for last Monday.