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Pakistani Taliban Says Open To Talks With Islamabad, But With Conditions

Hakimullah Mehsud (right), chief of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, sits with Waliur Rehman, his deputy, during a video recording at an undisclosed location near the Pakistani-Afghan border.
Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has said his organization could be open to talks with Islamabad but that his movement would not disarm.

He made the statements in a video released on December 28.

"We have never refused negotiations. We believe in negotiations that are serious and we can take part in serious negotiations," Mehsud said.

"But if the dialogue is frivolous and they ask us to lay down our arms, then it is not a serious dialogue."

Mehsud also put conditions on any peace talks with the Pakistani government, saying that they could only come if Islamabad abandoned its ties with Washington.

The U.S. government includes Mehsud on a global list of terrorists and offers a reward of $5 million for information leading to his capture.

The Pakistani Taliban's key stronghold is in North Waziristan, one of the tribal areas along the Afghan border and the site of most of the hundreds of drone strikes by the United States.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters