Pakistan Taliban in peace overture

Baitullah Mehsud spokesman says fighters ready for talks with country's new leaders.

    The army has conducted a military offensive in the tribal belt against pro-Taliban fighters [AFP]

    However, a conditon for talks is that they must reject President Musharraf's policy of battling the fighters in the tribal belt, as part of the so-called war on terror.

    The government of Pervez Musharraf was at one stage negotiating a peace deal with the fighters. But as talks failed, Musharraf resorted to an all-out military offensive in the area bordering Afghanistan.

    'Musharraf's mistakes'
    Omar said: "Taliban are ready for negotiations with the political parties as long as they do not re-impose war on them. If they do so, then Taliban will continue their activities against them."

    He also quoted Mehsud as urging the new administration to "avoid repeating the mistakes of Musharraf's government".

    The PML-N responded to the statement by saying that political and economic solutions were needed to deal with the conflict in the tribal belt.
    Ahsan Iqbal, a PML-N party spokesman, said: "Our stance is that Musharraf mishandled the situation to stay in power. We feel that if Musharraf steps down, half of the terrorism would end."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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