Pakistan Taliban chief calls truce

Leader of fighters in Bajaur tribal region announces unilateral truce.

    The Bajaur ceasfire follows discussions to establish a separate truce in the Swat valley [AFP]

    "The last one was October 2008, but that fell to pieces once the Pakistani Taliban said the army had broken the ceasefire."

    'Rest and re-arm'

    "But he says that if there are [US] drone attacks and if the US continues to fight in Afghanistan, they are going to go to Afghanistan and fight coalition forces there," Khan reported.

    "He also says they're going to stop attacks on government installations in Pakistan and on schools."

    Some analysts have warned the Pakistani Taliban is looking for an opportunity to rest and re-arm after years of fighting.

    The Bajaur announcement follows efforts by Pakistani authorities to bring peace in the neighbouring Swat valley, where another Taliban commander has been fighting the military.

    The Swat deal paves the way for the restoration of sharia, or Islamic law, in the region.

    Athar Abass, a spokesman for the Pakistani military in Rawalpindi, told Al Jazeera that the ceasefire had yet to be accepted by the Pakistani government.

    "The Taliban in this area has been surrounded and the government has so far not accepted the ceasefire terms," Abbas said.

    "This ceasefire has been offered in [just] one area, which is a small part of one of the four valleys ... If it is acceptable or accepted by the government this means that one of the valleys will be cleared of the militants."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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