Pak rules out possibility of talks with militant groups
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 00:00
Islamabad: The Pakistan government today ruled out the possibility of talks with militant groups that do not surrender their arms and accept the state's writ, saying talks could not be held with terrorists who had attacked shrines and places of worship.

Briefing reporters after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani met provincial Chief Ministers to review the security situation in the wake of last week's suicide bombing of the Data Darbar shrine in Lahore, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that no talks could be held with militants and terrorists who were attacking shrines and mosques.

The government's '3D' policy of dialogue, development and deterrence will continue and it is prepared to hold talks with militants who accept the state's writ and surrender their weapons, Kaira said.

"The way is open for talks with those who surrender," he added.

The government will hold consultations with all stakeholders to frame a policy to tackle terrorism, he said. The Prime Minister had also cleared a proposal for reforming madrassa after holding further consultations with religious leaders, he said.

Kaira described the terrorist attack on Data Darbar, which killed 45 people, as an attempt to ignite sectarian tensions.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said one of the two suicide bombers involved in the attack had been identified.

The trail in all attacks involving suicide bombers usually leads to the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, Malik said.

Banned groups like the Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had formed a nexus with the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda, he said.

These groups were recruiting new members in Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan and sending them to the tribal areas for training, he said.

"(Militant commander) Ilyas Kashmiri is in the tribal areas and he has formed a new organisation. The recruits are trained and sent back to Punjab and other parts (of Pakistan). They form sleeper cells which are activated when needed," Malik said.

Prime Minister Gilani had ordered authorities to take action against proscribed organisations, whose activities will be stopped, Malik said.

However, he said no operations would be launched in Punjab, where action will be taken by the provincial government, he said.


First Published: Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 00:00

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