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Pakistani Taliban Leader Still Open To 'Serious Talks'

Hakimullah Mehsud (right), chief of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban movement), in an undated video recorded at an undisclosed location near the Pakistani-Afghan border.
Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud says his organization is still open to peace talks.

In an interview with BBC on October 9, Mehsud blamed Islamabad for failing to take any serious steps toward negotiations with the Taliban.

Militant attacks escalated after Islamabad offered talks to the Taliban last month.

Mehsud said that their attacks inside Pakistan will continue even after the international troops withdraw from neighboring Afghanistan next year.

He said the Taliban were ready for a cease-fire in Pakistan after the U.S. drone strikes in the country are halted.

His Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan faction had earlier demanded a government cease-fire and the withdrawal of troops from the northwestern tribal areas along the Afghan border where the militants have sanctuaries.

Washington is offering a $5 million head bounty for Mehsud.

Based on reporting by BBC and AFP