Dec. 12 - Pakistan's Interior Minister says no talks being held with Taliban, asks Taliban leader to ''stop spreading disinformation''. Travis Brecher reports.
Pakistan's prime minister and interior minister refute rumours the government is holding peace talks with the Taliban. The deputy commander of the Pakistan Taliban, which has been waging a four-year war against the country's government, had said the two sides were in negotiations. But Pakistan's interior minister said it isn't true, insisting that authorities would enter talks only if the militants first disarmed and surrendered. (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu/English) PAKISTANI INTERIOR MINISTER REHMAN MALIK, SAYING: "I am telling Maulvi Faqir Mohammad to be realistic. If you have any sentiments for Pakistan and if you are really serious about peace, you should come down from the mountains, surrender your weapons, talk to the political agents, talk to the local elders and ask Allah for forgiveness for your sins. Then perhaps the nation will forgive you. But under the present circumstances, stop spreading disinformation." In September, Pakistan's government pledged to "give peace a chance", and talk with homegrown militants. And in an interview with the BBC, Pakistan's prime minister said all those who surrender and denounce violence would be quote "acceptable to us". Travis Brecher, Reuters