Mehsud for talks; Pak gives proof of India link to US

Amidst reports that Islamabad has handed over proof of India’s links with Mehsud to NATO, the Taliban chief has contacted the Pak govt seeking peace talks.

Peshawar: Amidst reports that Islamabad has handed over proof of India’s links with Baitullah Mehsud to NATO, the Taliban chief has contacted the Pak government seeking peace talks, sources said Thursday.
Mehsud’s pleading might have come partly from a near perfect stranglehold the security forces have on him and partly because his fellow Taliban leaders are advising him to be on good terms with the Pakistani government and avoid spoiling their game plan in Afghanistan.

If the negotiations, which are still at the initial stage, succeed, then Mehsud would be required to end attacks on civil, military and foreign targets inside Pakistan. In return, the Army would temporarily shelve its plans to push inside the tribal district to fight Mehsud’s militia of thousands of well-trained fighters.

An Army spokesman ruled out a dialogue with Mehsud but a senior official privy to the development said the government had “told those who are negotiating with Baitullah what it wants”.

Military and paramilitary troops have cut off Mehsud’s supply lines from the rest of the country. His capability to strike has been reduced by the arrests of hundreds of his supporters.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has reportedly handed over evidence of India`s involvement in providing aid to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief to the United States and NATO.

Sources said during the US Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke`s recent visit to Islamabad, top military and political leaders gave certain documented and video tape evidence to him.

They said evidence of New Delhi`s involvement in aiding Mehsud were also provided to US commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Lt. General Stanley McChrystal.

Sources said that Pakistan had provided enough evidence to prove `India`s covert links with Baitullah Mehsud and provision of aid to him through Indian consulate in Afghanistan.`

Pakistan`s political and military leadership also urged Holbrooke to discuss the issue with India saying Mehsud did not have the resources to counter the military`s extensive offensive against him, reports.

Officials also expressed their reservations regarding the continuous US drone strikes in tribal areas inside Pakistan`s geographical territory.

According to sources, Islamabad told US in clear terms that it has certain apprehensions regarding the missile strikes targeting Mehsud directly. They said the attack must be halted immediately as it has resulted in more civilian casualties.

Bureau Report with ANI inputs

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