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Pakistan rejects militant talks offer
Fri, 08 Apr 2011 08:07:02 GMT
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Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik
The Pakistani government has rejected a Taliban proposal for negotiations and ceasefire but stipulated to consider the offer upon the militants' surrender.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the country's parliamentarians on Thursday that the government has received the offer but emphasized it will not talk with the “terrorists,” a Press TV correspondent reported.

Malik reiterated that negotiations would be held with those who lay down their arms, adding that “the government will deal with the extremist elements with full strength.”

The minister also paid tribute to the hundreds of security forces killed during anti-Taliban operations in Swat and Malakand tribal regions.

Pakistan has deployed thousands of troops along the border with Afghanistan and added to its operations in the tribal regions to flush out Taliban militants.

However, in recent months Taliban militants have stepped up their attacks on police forces in what is viewed as retaliation for a recent Pakistani offensive against the militants.

Malik's remarks come a day after the United States released a report blaming Pakistan for not doing enough to counter militancy in the country.

Pakistan's military has rejected the report, saying the criticisms are aimed at justifying US failures in neighboring Afghanistan where hundreds of civilians have been killed in US attacks.

More than 4,000 people have lost their lives in attacks by militants across Pakistan since 2007.

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