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Pakistan says it seeks peace talks with Taliban

Sept. 11, 2013 at 3:23 PM

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- A conference of Pakistan's political parties announced it supports government negotiations with the country's Taliban in an attempt to stop terrorist violence.

Pakistan's political leaders are pursuing negotiation with the Pakistani Taliban in an attempt to halt a wave of violence that has killed over 800 since May's general election. The support of the policy from rival political parties, announced Monday, led to quick approval by a Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Time magazine reported.

"Taliban welcomes the dialogue offer and has a positive outlook about the joint communique" of the political parties, Shalid Shahidullah of the Pakistani Taliban told Geo News.

As the United States prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan, Pakistani leaders have argued it is time to settle its own internal conflict, Time said, noting a sense of war-weariness in the country.

Despite the optimism by all sides for negotiations, the Pakistani Taliban have repeatedly said they would not lay down their arms or make concessions on female education of what they consider "un-Islamic" laws.

"In that case, it won't work. We'll have to go for a military operation," said analyst and retired Pakistani general Talat Masood.

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