Taliban must give up arms before talks: Rehman Malik

Published: October 18, 2011

Pakistan will only hold peace talks with Taliban insurgents if they lay down their arms first, says Interior Minister Rehman Malik. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will only hold peace talks with Taliban insurgents if they lay down their arms first, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday.   

“The minimum agenda is that they give up arms and come forward and then there will be talks. But if they think they will keep Kalashnikovs in their hands and also hold talks, that will not happen,” he told reporters.

Both sides have indicated recently they were open to talks.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had earlier confirmed that his administration was ready to start talks with all factions of the Taliban, including the Haqqani network.

“If negotiations fail to work, the government will launch military operations in the tribal areas,” he told a small group of journalists at his private residence in Lahore.

He said that the approach currently being tried was similar to that which was tried in Swat, where the government offered a peace deal to the militants in 2009, but launched a military operation after the Taliban refused to honour their end of the bargain.

Communique from Taliban received

Malik has said that the government had received some messages dispatched from extremist elements for peace talks and dialogue. Replying to a question about a news story published in the US daily Washinton Post, he said: “The government has received messages from extremist elements,” however, dialogues would start when they disarm themselves.”

The TTP has been waging a campaign of attacks including suicide bombings across Pakistan since 2007.

A series of army offensives against TTP strongholds along the rugged mountainous border with Afghanistan has failed to contain the group, which is close to al Qaeda and is the biggest security threat to Pakistan.

Last year, the United States added the TTP to its list of foreign terrorist organisations and set rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to the capture of two of its leaders.

Malik arrives in Quetta

Upon his arrival at the Quetta airport, Malik said that he was visiting Balochistan on the instructions of Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani. “Issues of pilgrims travel to Iran, sectarianism, border surveillance and other law and order related matters would be reviewed during my Quetta visit,” the Interior Minister said and added today (Tuesday) he would be meeting with representatives of Hazara Community and different religious sects.

He said that Afghanistan militia had damaged a Pakistani checkpost on the border in Chaman, and said that steps were being taken to enhance surveillance in border areas.

The government, Malik clarified, was aware of the reported flights by NATO jets in Pakistani air space bordering Afghanistan and added that the violation was being noted in observation with International Set Procedures.

He said no one would be allowed to cast an evil eye on Pakistan and reaction would be given to any action carried out that violates sovereignty of the country.

Malik said crimes were not only being reported from across the country but also from abroad adding that strategy was being evolved to check these incidents.

He said that target killing of citizens in Quetta had been decreased with effective measures being taken by the government.

With regards to political future of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party led government, Malik said that the masses had given their mandate to the PPP to govern the country and added the PPP-led government would complete its tenure.

He said the Federal Government was responsible to maintain its writ and the provincial governments to maintain law and order within their jurisdiction.

He emphasized the need to promote community policing for securing peace.

Malik Ishaq detained

To another question, he said he had written a letter to Chief Secretary Punjab to detain Ishaq Malik of a banned organization and arrest his nine associates.

He said now Ishaq Malik had been detained and further action was being taken in this regard.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Lady gaga
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Whats this a sensible statement from a pakistani politician? – how refreshing

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  • MarkH
    Oct 18, 2011 - 12:47PM

    I did not see this statement coming. At least not with such finality attached. Whatever way it goes, it’s hard to gracefully stall action in one direction or another. Something might actually happen.
    Though I guess it could just disappear like Mirza’s briefcase.

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  • Diggvijay Singh
    Oct 18, 2011 - 1:11PM

    The Pakistan government should implement Shariyat fully across Pakistan before talks : Taliban

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  • Oct 18, 2011 - 1:35PM

    I’m at a point where I don’t trust any politician any more. This country, if ever, will rise solely on the shoulders of its professors, scientists, artists and writers. Politicians and lawyers may as well shoots each other…they won’t be missed.

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  • R S JOHAR
    Oct 18, 2011 - 2:12PM

    I dont think Talebans or Haqqanis are going to obey the instructions given by ‘Dr’ Rehman Malik.

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  • Adil
    Oct 18, 2011 - 2:52PM

    I believe we will be wasting time waiting for these barbarians to lay their arms. Military operation is the only way forward here; there are no common grounds between Pakistani people and these animals upon which to base any negotiations.

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  • taliban
    Oct 18, 2011 - 3:17PM

    YES SIR!

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  • vasan
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:00PM

    What is new now. Isnt the US govt saying the same thing. Lay down arms and come and talk.

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  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 18, 2011 - 4:24PM

    To which Taliban was he addressing? where does Taliban live? who gives shelter and provides facilities to them? who treated sick and wounded Taliban? who are the real hosts of Taliban?
    Too many faces too many fools to fool.Ch Ch .

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  • Gulzar Khan
    Oct 18, 2011 - 5:55PM

    HAHAHA!!!!!! It is Hilarious. If the the ‘Talibans’ give up there arms then what is left to talk about???

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  • Sal
    Oct 18, 2011 - 7:04PM

    This man is talking about TTP but not the taleban fighting US in Afghanistan. Haqqanis are with the afghan taleban but not with the TTP. afghan taleban is no threat to Pakistan but TTP IS. plus Pakistan doesn’t assist TTP. TTP are assisted by enemies of Pakistan and the dumb tribal peopleRecommend

  • Ravindra
    Oct 18, 2011 - 8:03PM

    India is saying same things for many yrs – pakistam must dismantle all terror related activities bfore peace talk 2 india.

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  • Amjad
    Oct 18, 2011 - 8:04PM

    Taliban are common enimies of Pakistanis . But to trust Lier like Rehman Malik is foolish most thing to do. Pakistan should straight away go for military operation seriously. Not like they have. Even doing jokes in lower Kurram.

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  • Jawad U Rehman
    Oct 18, 2011 - 10:20PM

    There is plenty of history of these attempted deals and negotiations with them, and in NONE of those cases (including the Waziristan accord of 2006, the Khyber Agency accord, and the notorious Malakand accord of 2009) have they even come close to disarming. They have used the accords to consolidate, re-arm, and expand their influence further. But, a decisive statement like this can be a breath of fresh air IF it is acted upon fully.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 18, 2011 - 10:41PM

    Why in the world would the Taliban agree to give up there arms just to hold talks? To my knowledge Pakistan has no current major offensive against the Taliban and is unlikely to start an offensive anytime in the future – just more rhetoric which has no substance.

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  • Sad but true
    Oct 18, 2011 - 11:35PM

    Who is fooling who?

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  • Khan
    Oct 19, 2011 - 2:07AM

    Let me give you the bottom line as an Afghan/Pashtoun, give us the Haqqanis, Mullah Omar and their associates, give us our terretories (Pashtounistan & Baluchistan) and inreturn we won’t destroy your country !

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Oct 19, 2011 - 6:34AM

    Taliban are not stupid. They know once they gave up arms, they will be bombarded with utility bills.

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  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 19, 2011 - 4:51PM

    @Ravindra:
    If India will stop taking “INTEREST“in Pakistan’s matter terrorism will itself end.And by the way who asked India to say something on our internal matters.Have you come over your own chronic matters like killing of Muslims in the name of religion.

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Oct 19, 2011 - 5:18PM

    According to the U.S. the TTP is on its “list of foreign terrorist organisations” and “rewards of up to $5 million” will be paid “for information leading to the capture of two of its leaders”. What about the two Swiss hostages captured by the TTP in July, who would only be freed in exchange for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui? The U.S. will never release Siddiqui. What’s the TTP-Shura going to do with the two? Let them go! I don’t think they are rich and could afford to pay a huge ransom. If so, this would mean an enormous burden for the rest of their lives!

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  • vasan
    Oct 19, 2011 - 5:58PM

    Ikramuddin Akbar :
    “Have you come over your own chronic matters like killing of Muslims in the name of religion.”

    Hello : Your fellow muslims in Pakistan are involved in killing their own kith and kin. And all in the name of religion too. Read the comments of many Indian muslims in ET and elsewhere to know the status of muslims in India which is far better than you can imagine and far better than that ot Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ikramuddin Akbar
    Oct 19, 2011 - 11:19PM

    @vasan:
    Yes I have been listening it since my childhood about the massacre of Muslims,ok, I know the status of Muslims there.If a cow is sacrificed there in revenge you slaughter hundreds of Muslims.Listen,you don’t know Islam.Islam is a circle and remaining in we obey and follow all the rules bequeathed to us, and if some one violates the rule, he goes out of the circle .It doesn’t happen in Hinduism ,whatever they do good or bad they remain Hindu.No accountability.Let me explain, Muslims are Muslims brothers and cannot kill each other.Now if some Muslims are killing their brothers they are no more a Muslim, and even if they intend to kill other Muslims for any reasons they will no longer be a Muslim, so those who are killing their brothers are not Muslims,and we don’t consider them Muslims.And if we dont consider them Muslims why you people bother about them let our rules decide for them,We have no sympathy for those men .so don’t bother about our matters..If you are so true religious people why and in the name of what do you massacre innocent Muslims.Genocides of Muslims in Ahmadabad,Gujrat, Bombay, and at other places show your sympathy toward Muslims.Does it make any sense or is it justified that since here a group is killing others, you are certified to kill Muslims there.I have been told, that you have been doing this since 1946,(JAHANABAD CARNAGE)when even separation was not decided . I’m not against Hindu.You are people like us ,you have norms like us but dont try to shut your eyes on reality.Hatred breeds hatred ,try to dilute the bad impact ..

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Oct 20, 2011 - 9:41AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.This is our leaders greatest misconception that Taliban shall give up arms before starting the peace talks because Taliban and Pakistani leaders both have fooled and deceived many times each others in the past on the name of peace talks and now both don’t trust each others completely therefore this Rehman Malik’s term and condition is inapplicable and inappropriate.Our leaders shall have to start peace negotiations with Taliban without this term and condition,id est,give up weapons and disarm yourselves first.So without wasting time on discussing on such these types inapplicable and inappropriate terms and conditions our leaders must start peace negotiation with Taliban as soon as possible so the the biggest goal of internal peace and security in Pakistan could be attained and terrorism could be uprooted from beloved Pakistan.

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