TTP says US drones must stop before peace talks

By AFP
Published: October 2, 2013
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Any ceasefire must include an end to US drone attacks says TTP spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

Any ceasefire must include an end to US drone attacks says TTP spokesperson. PHOTO: FILE

MIRANSHAH: The Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday insisted that US drone strikes in the country’s northwest must stop before they consider peace talks with the government.

The main Pakistani political parties last month backed a government proposal to seek negotiations with the militants, who have been waging a bloody insurgency against the state since 2007.

The main umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction responded with a list of preconditions, including a government ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from the tribal areas along the Afghan border where the militants have hideouts.

TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid told AFP any ceasefire must include an end to US drone attacks in the tribal areas, which have been targeting suspected Taliban and al Qaeda militants since 2004.

“A ceasefire alone is not sufficient. The stoppage of drone strikes is essential, otherwise — if drones continue to strike – we will not accept the ceasefire,” Shahid said.

The Pakistan government publicly criticises the strikes as counterproductive and a violation of sovereignty, but Washington considers them an effective tool in the fight against militancy.

The TTP’s demand adds a new challenge to the already bleak prospects for talks, hit hard by three attacks in a week in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which killed 142 people — the vast majority civilians.

The scale of the violence shocked Pakistan and prompted vehement denials of responsibility from the TTP central leadership.

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

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Reader Comments (46)

  • ModiFied
    Oct 2, 2013 - 9:23PM

    Strange logic of TTP. How can Pakistan stop drones ? Why can’t TTP bring down drones and fight with US directly like their counterparts are doing in Afghanistan?

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  • Farhan
    Oct 2, 2013 - 9:28PM

    Pretty much legitimate demand…

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  • Saleem
    Oct 2, 2013 - 9:39PM

    NO. All taliban terrorist activity should stop, they should lay down their weapons, and accept the constitution of Pakistan before of any negotiations.

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  • Raj - USA
    Oct 2, 2013 - 9:53PM

    Amazing !!!!! Simpley Amazing. TTP and PTI are so much unanimous in all their thoughts.

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  • Ali S
    Oct 2, 2013 - 9:58PM

    They bomb a church and market in Peshawar and then have the cheek to demand this. If our government (or IK’s, for that matter) had any spine whatsoever, their response would be along the lines of “Be thankful that we’re not carpet bombing North Waziristan”. That’s the only language they understand.

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  • touseef
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:01PM

    Except cease fire and stopping cease fire no conditiin must be accepted. Specially army withdrawl from area. By doing this we will loose all gains

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  • objective observer
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:01PM

    Seems like the TTP is learning how to be political.

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  • Nadir
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:05PM

    US drones must strike otherwise we will keep on killing Pakistanis.

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  • Yeah Right
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:11PM

    Oh yes definitely! Drone attacks should stop but you have the liberty to carry out as many attacks as you want! Enough hollow talk of peace, drone attacks and targeted operations are the only way to get rid of these barbarians!

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  • Mj
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:19PM

    If the terrorists lay down their weapons there won’t be a need for drone strikes.

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  • sane
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:42PM

    Sure, drones must stop, but TTP also needs to be deweaponized and accept the constitution of Pakistan.

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:44PM

    So the Taliban want you to go to war with America as a condition to talking with them – pretty much a non starter – on par with Sharif’s demand for them to disarm before talks.

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  • Drone aya
    Oct 2, 2013 - 10:53PM

    Something fishy. TTP never care about innocent civillians being killed. Why are they caring so much about Drone attacks which, according to our great PTI kill only civillians?

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  • Oct 2, 2013 - 10:55PM

    Reminds me what my father told the house cleaner yesterday ‘ If the neighbors dump trash in front of our house again, you will be fired’!Recommend

  • saeed
    Oct 2, 2013 - 11:19PM

    @Ali…I think you should read newspapers more regularly…Taliban first time in history have denied any hands in these attacks…I feel pitty for those who just for the sake because PTI will get some dirt brushes the idea of talks and peace in this region..you can get more issues to put blame on PTI guys…but just for once leave all the hate and think of the people on ground…you are afraid of talks but you are not agreeing to stop a tactic which has increased terrorism and polarization of society…which is this mad war…

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  • Zif
    Oct 2, 2013 - 11:35PM

    Ok. We’ll twist the arms of US to stop drone attacks. Simple!

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  • broken chooza
    Oct 3, 2013 - 12:21AM

    @ Ali S:
    how come you know that the TTP were involved in the church bomb blast, if you have any proof then u must contact the KPK police, since TTP hasn’t claimed any responsibility of this bomb blast.

    Secondly, the drone attacks are killing innocent civilians. How can you just kill any person before charging an illegal activity on him? If you are doing this then there isn’t any difference b/w the Taliban and you. Both are doing the same thing.

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  • suzo
    Oct 3, 2013 - 12:35AM

    so now Pakistan will demand for the US , our ‘innocent,friendly’ terrorists are being killed in your drone strikes,so please stop these brutal attacks on ‘poor, peace loving’ taliban. . Hope the US will pay heed to our demands!

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  • mir
    Oct 3, 2013 - 12:53AM

    and the list goes on…..

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  • akhtar tak
    Oct 3, 2013 - 1:02AM

    Impotent state and its leaders are being trounced by armed hooligans.
    Come on Nawz come on Kiyani Show your gritt

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  • Naseer
    Oct 3, 2013 - 1:44AM

    Just a few preconditions for PEACE talks

    Free all Taliban prisoners
    Withdraw Army from Swat and FATA
    Change Pakistani Constitution
    Stop the drone attacks

    Hazaroon khuwa eeshain aisey, kay her khuwaish pay dum niklay
    Bahut niklay meray arrman, mugar phir bhi kum niklay

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  • Oct 3, 2013 - 2:12AM

    They don’t need peace with Pakistan, they are interested to again time till ISAF exit. There are more than 63 factions in TTP, they are having no control to negotiate or direct them.

    http://pakistanpostman.blogspot.com/2013/10/ttp-wants-to-gain-time-till-isaf-exit.html

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  • Najeeb
    Oct 3, 2013 - 3:27AM

    Drones have killed hundreds of innocent people. Bombs have killed thousands of innocent people. Do you realize the simillarities in those two sentences? Killed, innocent, people unfortunately both are pakistanis..drones are operated by US and so are the bombs…directly and indirectly..

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  • Najeeb
    Oct 3, 2013 - 3:46AM

    The bombs kill hundreds of innocent people. The drones are believed to have killed hundreds of innocent people. Look at the simillarities in both sentences..innocent people are killed and ufortunately both are pakistanis. People who survive the bombs want to drone those who have survived the drones and vice versa. America is using drones which are counterproductive and kill innocent pakistanis directly and indirectly i.e. By using drones and bombs.

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  • malik
    Oct 3, 2013 - 3:53AM

    Drones seem to be the only thing they are afraid of. Stopping drones should be linked with their laying down arms which is not going to happen so this demand is a non starter.

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  • Pakistani Ostrich
    Oct 3, 2013 - 4:18AM

    @ ET editor,
    Seems like you have made an unintentional mistake in the headline of the news:
    “TTP says US drones must stop before peace talks”
    It should read as:
    “Imran T. Khan says US drones must stop before peace talks”

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  • Shahbaz Yusuf
    Oct 3, 2013 - 6:48AM

    Incredible and powerful logic – I’ll keep killing “my own people” to get drone strikes to stop. Wow…dudes your aiming your sights really low…

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  • vasan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:02AM

    TTP and their followers like IK never fail to amaze the rest of the world.

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  • Drone
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:05AM

    Drones mostly kill AQ and TTP Terrorist. Handful of civilians that get killed are the families of those terrorist that get killed. That is why drone Pinches these zombies so much. Very few locals voice to stop drones cuz the only time the innocent get effected is when they are taken as shields by the AQ or TTP

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  • Ahmed Ali Khan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:14AM

    @Farhan:

    You must be out of your mind. Do you think drone strike is done by Pakistan?

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  • Ahmed Ali Khan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:16AM

    @Ali S:

    But the taliban did not take the responsibility of Peshawar blasts.

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  • Ahmed Ali Khan
    Oct 3, 2013 - 7:31AM

    @akhtar tak:

    Nawz is busy building his empire, he does’nt have time to think about it. Oh he is also busy touring various countries on tax paying money. If he decided to stay in the country then he will think but how can he think about it when he has so many portfolios besides PM to look after.
    As for Kayani, he has only less than 2 months to left. Now he wants to rest probably.

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  • Nice Talk
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:11AM

    Ok.. this can also be read as ‘If our american partners dont stop killing you, we will not stop killing you’

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  • Tayyab
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:31AM

    I wonder how many of you bashing and ridiculing IK here, were the ones going GAGA six months ago, when even a spit coming out of his mouth was GOLD for you. And I can bet a gazillion dollars, you will again do the same if he is proven right. Filthy Hypocrites

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  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:31AM

    Taliban shopping list;
    Stop drones
    Release all our “brothers”
    Scrap the constitution!
    Eliminate all minorities to make Pakistan really the land of the pure!
    Establish caliphate to rule the world!
    Threaten west with nuclear weapons!
    Wait for the hidden Mahdi to stop all the incoming nuclear warheads!

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  • Tayyab
    Oct 3, 2013 - 9:35AM

    and those of you geniuses, who believe Drone Strikes kill terrorists, read the report again,…only 3 out of a total of 800 odd people killed in drone strikes till 2011 were known terrorists. Go drone your families now.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 3, 2013 - 10:13AM

    @Tayyab:
    BTW, you neglected to tell us the name of the report you refer to about Drone Strikes!
    Did your keyboard run out of ink????

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  • Aakashvaani
    Oct 3, 2013 - 2:34PM

    We all know what that means, NO PEACE!

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  • Zaida P
    Oct 3, 2013 - 2:44PM

    PTI and TTP to merge shortly.

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  • Rex Minor
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:37PM

    @Zaida P:
    TTP provides security for PTI to rule in the provine ; this is a fact and there is no use denying it. PTI must lead the political transformation in the province and if it is opposed by the central Government and or the army leadership, then it has no mandate to function.

    Rex Mnor

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  • Rex Minor
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:41PM

    @Saleem:
    One can only admire your spirit but this not the solution. People want peace and not your war rhetoric.

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:46PM

    @Raj – USA:
    Not only in thoughts, but they are one people! They are learning fast and follow the American strategy, ” if you are not with us then you are against us”.

    Rex Minor

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  • Rex Minor
    Oct 3, 2013 - 5:59PM

    @saeed:

    Good thinking!! If it is found out now or later that there were any one or more members were involved in the christian carnage, thedir tribal chiefs will bury the culprits alive, yes alive. This is the culture which they operate in their tribes! What says the Americans with their ‘Prism’ spy net work or the famous ISI, or even the UK ‘Tempora’ spy net work!! Pakistan Pm could at least ask
    its American friends?

    Rex Minor

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  • Yasir
    Oct 3, 2013 - 11:55PM

    @Drone:
    I totally agree with u.Recommend

  • Syeda Jafri
    Oct 4, 2013 - 12:37PM

    Even if the recent blasts were not carried out by Talibans, no one has doubt that they’ve killed hundreds of innocent people for which they have claimed resposibilities in recent past. Talking with such people is only waste of time. You negotiate with those who have a policy, understand logic & reason. You accept some of their demands & they accept yours. What they have to offer in this case? Its really so hypocritic of our political leaders to forget those innocent deaths & terrorism & submit at the face of this threat. Wait till these people come hunting these leaders & their families & their cities like Peshawar & Karachi & see how easily they then negotiate with these terrorists.

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  • Oct 4, 2013 - 9:38PM

    @Syeda Jafri:
    Even being a terrorist group TTP don’t present a unified front. They are bunch of separate factions, as a bottom line fighting their own war with personnel aims but using cover under “Jihad”. And TTP is doing nothing but accepting every event made by them !!!!!
    Read more…….
    link text

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