The Pakistani Taliban have made a conditional talks offer to the government.
In a video message issued on February 3, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan insisted that they could only engage in talks if three senior politicians would act as guarantors.
"We need solid guarantors who can assure us about the army, because the army is the real power in Pakistan," he said.
"The Taliban have asked Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and Munawar Hassan to mediate the talks with the military.
Sharif, a former prime minister, heads the conservative Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz,, while Rehman and Hassan are the leaders of Islamist Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami political parties.
The Taliban also called on the government to release some of their leaders as a confidence-building measure.
Based on reporting by DPA and AP