Islamabad: Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud Friday rejected calls from the government to surrender arms but said the outfit was ready to talk, media reports said.
In a 40-minute video message sent to Pakistani TV channels, Mehsud said the Taliban believe in talks but will not accept the government’s condition to disarm the fighters, Xinhua reported.
In the video, Mehsud was seen sitting between his deputy Wali-ur-Rehman Mehsood and spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan. Dunya and Geo TV channels said the video was delivered to their offices.
The video was released a day after another Taliban leader made an offer of conditional truce to the government. The offer was rejected by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The government was yet to react to Mehsud’s latest video message.
Mehsud, speaking in his native Pashto language, accused the Pakistani government of breaking peace agreements with the outfit in the past.
He said the government cannot take independent decisions over pressure from the US.
The Taliban chief said the outfit will keep on attacking the ethnic Pashtoon Awami National Party (ANP) in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.