Last Updated 8:06 a.m. ET
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A senior Pakistani Taliban commander said the movement has declared a cease-fire and halted attacks around the country in support of nascent peace talks with the government.
The commander said late on Monday the group’s cease-fire has been in effect for the past month.
He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not the official spokesman of the insurgent network.
His statement adds credence to recent announcements by the Taliban that they are in peace talks with government intermediaries.
CBS News’ Farhan Bokhari reports that a Pakistani intelligence official said, though an important development, it’s too early to tell if this cease-fire will hold indefinitely. “It’s a step in the right direction, but we have to see how things progress,” he said.
CBS News’ Maria Usman reports that a Pakistani army spokesperson and government officials are all denying that any peace talks have taken place.
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One Western diplomat’s immediate reaction was that he has heard the army was very keen to be seen getting into a stronger position ahead of the Bonn summit: “Suggestion of a ceasefire will reinforce the view that the Pakistan army has gained ground in your tribal areas,” the diplomat said.
The Pakistan Taliban, who are behind much of the violence in Pakistan, consist of many different factions who all have loyalties to various commanders. One intelligence official based in the tribal areas told Usman that they are not in contact with the Pakistani Taliban’s chief Hakimullah Mehsud or its central leadership, 의왕출장마사지 and therefore any talks with individual factions would only affect a very limited area and the few people under the concerned commander’s locale of influence.
Another government source has also told CBS News that the government has not decided upon a set policy regarding their dealings with the Taliban, so talks cannot possibly be held at this time.
Usman reports there are still on-going operations in a number of tribal agencies, and action that is taken against militants is regularly reported in local media.
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