Pakistan army says Taliban must not set terms for talks

Published: September 16, 2013
An old photo of Taliban militants in Swat. PHOTO: REUTERS

An old photo of Taliban militants in Swat. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military will not let Taliban rebels set conditions for peace talks as the government seeks dialogue to end the insurgency, the army chief said Monday.

The statement from General Ashfaq Kayani came a day after two senior military officers were killed by a Taliban bomb in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the military is fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban-led militants.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Sunday announced preconditions for any peace talks, saying troops must be withdrawn from the tribal areas and its prisoners released.

“It is understandable to give peace a chance through a political process but no one should have any misgivings that we would let terrorists coerce us into accepting their terms,” Kayani said.

Politicians last week gave their backing to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s calls to begin talks with the Taliban.

But Kayani warned that militants “will not be allowed to take advantage of it (talks offer)”.

The army, he said, “has the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists”.

On Sunday seven security personnel including a major-general and a lieutenant-colonel died in four separate attacks.

Major-General Sana Ullah Khan was general officer commanding in the Swat valley, where the army sent 30,000 troops in 2009 to expel Taliban fighters.

Previous peace deals with the Taliban have quickly broken down and been sharply criticised for allowing the extremists time to regroup before fresh attacks.

Pakistan says more than 40,000 people have been killed in bomb and suicide attacks staged by the Taliban and al-Qaeda-led militants who oppose Islamabad’s US alliance.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Good News
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:43PM

    The only good Taliban is a dead Taliban…very pleased to hear that the army will not allow these barbarians to make demands!


  • Khurram Malik
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:44PM

    PTI should be ashamed that in the funerals of two high ranking Army Officials and other soldiers neither Imran Khan , Pervaiz Khattak nor any High ranking PTI Official.were present Atleast High ranking PMLN officials were there in the funerals but I cannot understand that why PTI wants so much Taliban appeasement that now they are avoiding funeral ceremonies of our soldiers as well.
    A small message to PTI folks that Soldiers who are dying on a Daily Basis are also Pakistanis and kindly give them the respect of what they deserve. Also stop this mantra of Military Withdrawal from KPK regions as you have already seen that what are designs of Taliban.


  • Dani
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:47PM

    Beggars are not choosers !


  • Obaid
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:54PM

    For once the army is thinking straight


  • Asim Ali
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:54PM

    The army has made tremendous sacrifices in the fight against terrorists. We should not support the TTP or any sort of Taliban. These vultures along with their silent supporters need to wiped off from Pakistan, mosque by mosque


  • Aalu Laylo
    Sep 16, 2013 - 5:57PM

    I thought the Political leaders were negotiating?Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:00PM

    TTP must feel the heat for killing innocent people & soldiers. COAS message must have been preceded by a strong action so that the message was loud and clear and in the language that TTP understands.


  • Shahid
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:02PM

    Talibans have an idealogy to which they are committed and ready to go to any extent. What makes any body think that they have abondoned thier idealogy. Temporary peace may be a strategy for them but not an end by itself. IN fact it was general Kiyani’s indecisiveness and lack of a full fledge action which embolden and strengthend them. There should be no talk with them until they are defeated squarely.


  • Zeeshan Hasan
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:02PM

    We need a policy that says “We will not talk to terrorists. Give up your arms and we would listen to you”.


  • Faisal
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:11PM

    If you have the ability then please do it and do it right now.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:24PM

    This statement is late but better than never. Whole nation is with our brave armed forces.


  • A
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:28PM

    Geo, Kayani sahab. Take the fight to these barbarians.


  • sabi
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:34PM

    This is a welcome singe most needed from top military brass.People of Pakistan are behind armed forces of Pakistan in their fight against enemies.


  • Sep 16, 2013 - 6:40PM

    First and foremost, we strongly condemn the attack on the military officers. We send our deepest and heartfelt condolences to their families. It is no secret that the nation of Pakistan is faced with many challenges in regards to terrorism. We fully support Pakistan’s effort to restore peace in the country. We share a common stance against terrorism, and the proof lies in the fact that we’ve lost thousands of brave soldiers on both sides of the border. We commend the bravery of those who have given their lives to protect the country. We greatly appreciate all of Pakistan’s sacrifices in the region. We will continue to support the government of Pakistan in its quest for peace.

    Ali Khan
    DET, United States Central Command


  • Rabbani
    Sep 16, 2013 - 6:53PM

    Enough of this “give-peace-a-chance” drama. TTP is an assorted group of professional butchers! Pak Army should start the offensive today to rid our homeland of those militants, once and for all. The nation stands with Pak Army. Pakistan Zindabad.


  • Bilal
    Sep 16, 2013 - 7:05PM

    What common stance?TTP terrorists are conducting their raids from their sanctuaries in KUNAR.Americans and ISAF forces are keeping a blind eye on all this and in other words they are supporting these terrorists in destabilizing Pakistan.


  • amad
    Sep 16, 2013 - 7:42PM

    political parties simply can’t face the brutality of talibans. They just want to spend their tenures safely without caring for citizens suffering. They fully understand that peace deal with TTP is of no use.


  • fawad
    Sep 16, 2013 - 8:26PM

    It was for the civilian government to decide whether they want to set any pre conditions or not.


  • MK
    Sep 16, 2013 - 8:27PM

    Light hearted comments are moderated on this website but when someone is impersonating US CENTCOM the comments are allowed?


  • unbelievable
    Sep 16, 2013 - 8:45PM

    The army, he said, “has the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists”.
    The real question is whether the militants believe the military has the ability to defeat them – right now I suspect the answer is NO. The military has over a decade of talking tough – don’t think harsh language is going to intimidate the terrorist.


  • LSE
    Sep 16, 2013 - 8:54PM

    @Khurram Malik: please do get urself updated before u make such stupid and biased comments! There is one Article on ET about Imran Khan (PTI) condemning this TTP attack on Army… Yeah!! u guessed it right!! ON ET..! Go read that article first.


  • syed baqar ahsan
    Sep 16, 2013 - 9:10PM

    Will you please leave Afghanistan,then talk of mercy for our and your soldiers.Two wrongs are never right.In Iraq and now in Afghanistan you are the oppressors and king of double gamer.But for how long-miss used UNO for false cases.Now active shoot out in washington is new drama in the making ex Al Zawarheri(OF USA) recent statement.


  • mind control
    Sep 16, 2013 - 9:11PM

    A. Pakistan army says Taliban must not set terms for talks

    B. Six Tehreek-e-Taliban prisoners released, for 2 FC personnel

    I am getting a little confused here.

    Which one is a ‘precondition’ and which one is ‘unconditional’ ??


  • Brown Eagle
    Sep 16, 2013 - 9:47PM

    I guess negotiations will be about how to terrorists into freedom fighters.


  • Parvez
    Sep 16, 2013 - 10:21PM

    They SHOULD NOT be dictating terms………….but sadly they ARE DICTATING terms.


  • Wishfulthinking
    Sep 16, 2013 - 10:32PM

    it is on Kayani watch that Abbotabad took place ! who is going to trust him !


    Sep 16, 2013 - 10:50PM

    kayani sb show some light on afghan taliban,what is your policy on that issue.
    TALIBAN must be at KABUL through some deal brokered at #doha ,whose unoffical stand is this???
    where is #mullah umar?
    who was behind murder of barhauddin rabbani and who has a policy of strategic depth,leave apart what are you doing in kashmir.

    ET please publish,your moderators are too strict.


  • Sep 16, 2013 - 11:27PM

    “THE ARMY HAS THE WILL AND THE ABILITY TO TAKE THE FIGHT TO TALIBAN.” So, what are you waiting for Gen Kiyani? I hope, and pray, that you haven’t lost the will, and the ability, to fight like a soldier.


  • Karella
    Sep 16, 2013 - 11:45PM

    The problem is not if we should talk or fight. We may have consensus on talks. But please be clear on who are the TTP. They are the enemy of the state. They have butchered innocent Pakistanis in the thousands, blown up schools, killed women and children, and kidnapped everyone from Karachi to Islamabad.
    Accept the fact that we are negotiating with the worst criminals in the history of this country. And stop calling it negotiations, just say what this is, abject surrender. Start by saying the truth.


  • Ishrat Salim
    Sep 17, 2013 - 1:13AM

    Whom the govt is going to talk peace to ? There are more than 40 groups under TTP umbrella ? that is a first the step, which the govt has not yet spelled out….then comes ceasefire, then no conditions…all these ingredients are amiss…hence, progress is a far cry…..


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