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Pakistani Taliban Spokesman Rejects Dialogue With Government

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he was ready for dialogue with "all those elements who have unfortunately adopted the path of extremism."
ISLAMABAD -- A spokesman for the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, says the militant group will not negotiate with the government in Islamabad.

Shahidullah Shahid told RFE/RL by telephone on August 24 that the group rejected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's offer to hold peace negotiations.

Shahid accused Sharif of threatening to use force if the Taliban didn't come to a negotiation table.

Shahid also condemned senior Pakistani Taliban commander Asmatullah Muawiya, who had praised the prime minister for "demonstrating political maturity" by reiterating his offer to hold peace negotiations.

On August 19, the prime minister warned that terrorism posed an "existential threat" to Pakistan.

However, he said he was ready for dialogue with "all those elements who have unfortunately adopted the path of extremism."

In related news, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has assured Pakistan of Washington's continued support for Islamabad in the war against terrorism.

In a telephone conversation on August 23, Kerry and Sharif reportedly discussed the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism and regional security issues.

Pakistani media reports that Kerry and Sharif also discussed the ongoing tensions along the disputed border between Pakistan and India in Kashmir.

Earlier, Pakistan's military blamed Indian troops for allegedly killing two Pakistani troops in separate incidents this week near the so-called Line of Control, the de facto border that divides the Himalayan region into Pakistani and Indian-controlled sections.

With reporting by and
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    RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

    Radio Mashaal was launched in January 2010 in order to counter a growing number of Islamic extremist radio stations in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the border with Afghanistan.