Pakistan sets conditions for talks with militants

May 8th, 2008 - 7:50 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, May 8 (Xinhua) Pakistan Thursday set three conditions for possible talks with militants in the country, saying military action is not the only way to wipe out terrorism and extremism. “Political engagement is an essential part of this policy but it is possible only with those who renounce militancy and violence, do not allow the use of Pakistan’s territory against any other country and do not help foreign terrorist elements to find hideouts in our territory,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq told a regular news briefing.

The Pakistani government, which took office in March, has taken a multi-pronged approach to deal with terrorism and extremism, which includes political, socio-economic and military elements.

According to media reports, the Pakistani government has agreed to hold talks with militant groups in the north-western tribal region if compromise could be reached.

“The government believes that military action alone will not be effective in permanently ending the menace of terrorism,” said Sadiq.

But he ruled out the possibility of stopping military action against hard-line militants.

“The security requirements will not be abandoned or ignored,” said Sadiq, adding “Negotiations with tribal leaders and notables are aimed at supplementing military efforts with political ones.”

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