Pakistan Taliban: We'll Talk, but Won't Stop Fighting

Hakimullah Mehsud's comments come after string of attacks in Peshawar

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 28, 2012 10:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Pakistan's Taliban is willing to continue negotiating with the government, but it is not about to stop its attacks, its leader said via a video given to Reuters today. This month has seen the group carry out a series of big attacks—including suicide bombings at the Peshawar airport, the killing of a top politician, and yesterday's kidnapping of 22 paramilitary forces—showing it is still a power to be reckoned with in the region, despite significant loss of territory and pressure put on by the continued US drone attacks.

"We believe in dialogue but it should not be frivolous," said the not-dead Hakimullah Mehsud. "Asking us to lay down arms is a joke." Mehsud also expressed unity with the Afghanistan Taliban and al-Qaeda. "We are Afghan Taliban and Afghan Taliban are us," he said. "We are with them and al-Qaeda."

A picture of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, from Oct. 4, 2009. Mehsud has said he is willing to talk with the government, but will not stop his attacks.
A picture of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, left, from Oct. 4, 2009. Mehsud has said he is willing to talk with the government, but will not stop his attacks.   (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mehsud, File)
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