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    Cease fire before talks, Pakistan tells Taliban

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): The Pakistan government on Wednesday signalled its willingness to hold talks with the Taliban if they announced a month-long truce and named sincere religious scholars to help achieve concrete results.

    Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Islamabad if the insurgents had really been sincere in holding result-oriented parleys, they should have announced a ceasefire and formed a jirga, comprising credible people.

    On Feb. 3, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) released a video message to the media, proposing a dialogue with the government. The group’s spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said they were ready for negotiations if certain opposition leaders acted as guarantors.

    But Malik said: “There should be a one-month ceasefire before peace talks can be held. The nation has rejected the Taliban’s system. This is a voice of majority: come forward, announce a one-month ceasefire and then hold negotiations.”

    Taliban commanders Waliur Rehman and Hakimullah Mahsud should know that Ehsan was not loyal to them, the interior minister remarked.