The Pakistani Taliban has told the Islamabad government there was no chance of peace in the country unless Pakistan changed its political and legal system and officially embraced Islamic law.
The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to find a negotiated settlement to years of fighting with the militants but talks broke down this month after a string of attacks.
In a rare face-to-face meeting with journalists last week in an undisclosed location in Waziristan, a lawless region on the Afghan border, main Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said there was still hope negotiations might resume.
“Despite recent bombings in North Waziristan and killing of our 74 men by the security forces during the peace talks, we are still serious about the talks,” he said, wearing an AK-47 bandolier across his chest.
“If talks are to be held it would be only under sharia (Islamic law). We have made this clear to the government committee. We are fighting for the enforcement of sharia and we are holding talks for the same purpose.”