Skip to main content

Pakistani leaders push for Taliban talks

From Sophia Saifi. Saima Mohsin and Zahir Shah Sherazi, CNN
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Tue September 10, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban welcomes the move
  • It's not the first time the government has tried to open talks
  • Pakistan's PM calls for leaders to stop playing politics, consider the greater good

(CNN) -- Pakistani political leaders on Monday backed a call to begin peace talks with the country's Taliban.

Meeting at a conference in Islamabad, they released a resolution that stressed "past efforts to control terrorist and extremist elements have not yielded the desired results."

"Peace, tranquility, stability and a tolerant and harmonious society are essential prerequisites for revival of the growth process for rapid socioeconomic development," it read, referring to the Pakistani Taliban as "stakeholders."

Interior Ministry spokesman Omar Hamid Khan told CNN the government would start talks just as soon as intermediaries laid the "groundwork."

Shahidaullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, welcomed the move.

The resolution also addressed ongoing U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. It described them as a detriment to the country's efforts to eliminate terrorism and recommended the government consider taking the issue of strikes to the United Nations.

This is not the first time the government has attempted to open talks with the Taliban.

It did so under former President Pervez Musharraf, the army general who held the office from 2001 to 2008 after he led a 1999 military coup.

Despite promises of a truce, the Pakistani Taliban continued to carry out attacks. Attempts at talks between the Pakistan People's Party government and the Taliban also ended without much success.

Monday's conference was convened by newly elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who appealed to delegates to stop playing politics and consider the greater good.

"We must reach consensus and support each other. If we don't, we will only damage the country and its people," he said.

Zardari steps down as Pakistan's president

Pakistan to release seven Taliban figures

Global Public Square: Time for Pakistan to face down extremists

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:36 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 7:39 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT