Will not hold talks with any political party: Pak Taliban
The Pakistani Taliban have described the government as "liberal and secular" and said they will not hold talks with any political party, including the Awami National Party that rules the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told reporters in the northwest yesterday that an offer of talks from the ANP was misleading and that the militants considered the incumbent rulers liberals and secular and thus "not sincere to the cause of Islam".
Ihsan, who spoke to the reporters on phone from an undisclosed location, claimed the leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition, including those from the ANP, were "slaves to the US and not independent in their decisions".
The spokesman claimed that the Taliban continued to be a formidable force in South Waziristan and their capacity to carry out attacks across the country was still intact.
The Taliban are still at war with Pakistani security forces and militants had carried out attacks in various cities, he said.
He further said that attacks on vehicles carrying supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan would not stop.
Ihsan claimed that the Taliban had reverence for the Islamic holy month of Ramazan and were fighting only in self-defence during this period.
He dispelled the impression that there was a rift within the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and said there were no differences between Hakimullah Mahsud, the organisation's chief, and Waliur Rahman, the commander in South Waziristan.
He accused intelligence agencies of planning violence at public places to defame the Taliban and claimed the militants were not carrying out bomb attacks on public gatherings and markets.