Pakistani tribesmen push Taliban to talk peace
PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Five years after setting up an umbrella organization to unite violent militant groups in the nation’s tribal regions, the Pakistani Taliban is fractured, strapped for cash and losing support of local tribesmen frustrated by a protracted war that has forced thousands from their homes, analysts and residents say.
The temperamental chief of the group known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, recently offered to start peace talks with the government, raising the prospect of a negotiated end to Pakistan’s war against insurgents in a lawless region that runs the length of the border with Afghanistan.
The group’s offer of sanctuary to Afghanistan’s Taliban has been one of the most divisive issues in U.S.-Pakistan relations and has confounded efforts to get the upper hand against Afghan insurgents after more than 11 years of war.
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