No talks with armed Taliban: Malik


Interior Affairs Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said that Pakistan would not initiate a dialogue with local Taliban unless they lay down arms and give up terrorism.
After visiting Police Lines Headquarters along with British Home Secretary Theresa May, Rehman told journalists that a move of Taliban to end war voluntarily would be welcomed. The minister asked the Taliban to surrender by disarming themselves and refrain from activities of the enemy.
Pakistan had suffered billions of dollars losses in its war against terror and the international community should realize that this war was being fought to protect the world from the ravages of terrorism and to promote peace, he said.
Pakistan and the United Kingdom share a powerful interest in fighting the extremism and terrorism that threatens people in both countries as well as the whole world. To a question about activities of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, he said there was a democracy in Pakistan and courts were free to decide independently.
He told a questioner that Hafiz Saeed has been freed by court. About killing of former Afghan president Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani, the minister said he was a friend of Pakistan and his murder was sorrowful for both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He said Prof Rabbani was making efforts for peace and it was Pakistan’s responsibility to hunt down his killers, who had tried to disrupt the peace initiatives and damage Pak-Afghan ties. The minister also mentioned the recent meetings of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in which it was decided that Pakistan would help the Afghan authorities in the investigation of his killing.