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Pakistan: Taliban negotiators blame government for peace talks delay


Taliban negotiators in Pakistan have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad, as preliminary peace efforts got off to a chaotic start.

The government side had asked for clarification about the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) team.

The militants have been waging an insurgency inside Pakistan since 2007.

Later, a bomb outside a hotel in a Shia neighborhood of the north-western city of Peshawar left at least eight dead.

Taliban negotiators in Pakistan have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad

Taliban negotiators in Pakistan have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad

Twenty-six people were injured in the blast which Shafqat Malik, leader of the police Bomb Disposal Unit, said was a suicide attack.

The government and Taliban representatives had been due to start charting a “roadmap” for talks.

Many observers were puzzled by the government side’s approach. The Taliban swiftly made clear there were to be no additions to their team, and urged the government side to begin talks and see for themselves whether the team had a mandate.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the talks initiative last week, following a spate of attacks.

In January more than 100 people, including many soldiers, died in Taliban attacks across the country. Thousands have been killed in recent years.

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