MIRANSHAH - A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday denied media reports that the government was holding peace talks with the insurgent group.
Pakistani media on Saturday ran headlines reporting the start of peace talks with the Taliban while some said there had been initial contacts with the militants.
Shahidullah Shahid, main spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told AFP that no contacts had been made between the group and any government official.
“I categorically deny the holding of peace talks on any level between the Taliban and Pakistani government,” Shahid told AFP from an undisclosed location.
“No contacts have even been made between us, nor have we received any offer to initiate peace talks,” Shahid added.
The reports of peace talks emerged almost two weeks after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an offer to the extremists in his first televised address to the nation since taking office after winning elections in May.
Previous peace deals have rapidly unravelled, and were criticised by the United States and at home for allowing militants space to regroup before launching new waves of attacks.
The Taliban last Saturday removed a key commander for welcoming Sharif’s call for dialogue.
Ismatullah Muaweea, the head of the TTP in Punjab, had said the prime minister had shown maturity.