The Pakistani Taliban on Sunday hinted it may be willing to resume stalled peace talks after reports that the government was set to launch a military operation against the banned militant group.
“Our stand in this regard is like an open book,” Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said.
He said the Taliban began the peace process for Islam and Pakistan and that all necessary measures including the declaration of unilateral ceasefire were taken for the creation of congenial atmosphere for talks.
He criticised the government for hitting North Waziristan, the insurgents’ stronghold, as air force jets carried out strikes today that killed 80 militants.
Military sources said that Abu Abdur Rehman Almani, a key commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and mastermind of last week’s Karachi airport attack, was also killed.
The Taliban’s signal for talks came after reports that the army may launch an operation against the militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.
A security official said that forces were already targeting the militants but a decision about a full-fledged operation will be taken by the government.
The peace process has been stalled since April due to differences between the government and the Taliban.
The Pakistan government has been trying to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban to find a solution to the decade-long insurgency that has claimed over 40,000 lives.