Tag Archives: cease-fire

Taliban Offers Peace Talks To New Pakistan Leaders

A spokesperson quoted Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud as calling for negotiations with the political parties that defeated President Musharraf in last week’s parliament elections. “The Taliban movement welcomes the victory of anti-Musharraf political parties… and announces its willngness to enter into negotiations with them for bringing peace.” Mehsud claimed “we want peace, but if they impose war on us, we will not spare them.” The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz responded to the Taliban statement by stating President Musharraf has “mishandled the situation to stay in power.”

It is difficult to believe Mehsud is interested in long term peace unless it follows his Taliban version of governance. He most probably is using anger against Musharraf to obtain a cease fire during which time he will regroup and rearm. There is no question Musharraf has bungled many things, including the war against militants, but arranging peace without serious disarmament of the Taliban would be a mistake.

Pakistan-Militant Cease Fire Angers Bhutto Followers

A Pakistan government spokesperson confirmed there was a cease fire in existence in the fight against al-Qaeda and Taliban forces. “There is no announced cease fire. There is a de facto cease fire between militants and government troops.” During the past week there were secret talks between the Pakistan military leadership and members of militant groups in order to find a way to end the fighting. It is expected as part of the agreement, a tribal council, a jirga, will be formed to work on how to transform the de facto truce into something that would be more permanent.

News of the cease fire aroused the anger of supporters of the murdered Benazir Bhutto. Sheery Rehman, speaking for the Pakistan People’s Party, said: “The government is holding talks with the man who it blamed for the killing opf Benazir Bhutto.”

The central issue is what is behind the decision of al-Qada and Taliban leaders to enter into truce talks with the Pakistan army. There is no doubt leaders like Baitullah Mehsud have not abandoned their desire to transform Pakistan into an Islamic Republic. Are they temporarily ending fighting in an effort to regroup? Mehsud is too ruthless and crafty to simply end fighting unless he has a hidden reason.

Taliban Militants In Pakistan Declare Cease-Fire

Taliban militants declared a case-fire Wednesday in fighting with Pakistan forces and he government said it was preparing fo peace talks with al-Qaida-linked extremists in the lawless tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan. A spokesperson for the Taliban siad the truce would include not only the tribal belt near the Afghan border, but the restive Swat region to the east. Maulvi Mohammed Umar, said: “The declaration of war we made against security forces was on orders of Baitullah Mehsud. We now withdraw that for an indefinite period.”

Interior Minister Athar Abbas said the government would soon form a jirga or tribal council of influential figures, “for a dialogue with the militants.” Ismail Khan, a journalist on the scene, questions the decision for a cease-fire. “Why did the governmen launch the military operation and then abandon it half way through without achieving its objective? It boggles the mind.” It appears militants have suffered large casualties during the Pakistan army attacks and most probably wanted a cease fire in order to regroup.

From all descriptions, Baitullah Mehsud is a crafty tyrant who intends to extend Talibn power throughout the region. Why the cease-fire except for the reality of being pounded by the Pakistan military and needing time to regroup and reorganize?