Global Post published on October 6, 2013 the second part of a two-part series called Know your Taliban under the headline
Who are the Pakistani Taliban?
by Jean Mckenzie
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — The explosion of violence in Pakistan over the past week has killed more than 100 people and, at least for now, derailed any hope that peace talks between the beleaguered government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani Taliban might provide some relief.
Sharif has repeatedly expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue with the militants, provided they refrain from violence. Pakistan’s powerful military, however, is much more skittish in the wake of recent attacks.
The militants themselves are not all that keen; the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, the umbrella group of militants known as the Pakistani Taliban, has rejected any preconditions.
“By telling us that we will have to lay down arms and respect the constitution, the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, showed that he is following the policy of America and its allies,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahd recently told a Pakistani magazine.
But even if some of the initial hurdles could be overcome, it’s far from clear who would have to be brought into any talks. There are so many different militant groups in Pakistan. Experts aren’t even sure how many there are…MORE