PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban have demanded that the government release militant prisoners and begin withdrawing troops from the group's tribal sanctuary before it will participate in peace talks.
Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said Sunday the group's leadership decided on the confidence building measures while meeting to discuss the government's offer to negotiate.
The demands raise serious doubts about whether the peace process will get off the ground.
Pakistan's major political parties endorsed peace talks with the Taliban last week as the best way to end a decade-long insurgency that has killed thousands of people.
But it's unclear what steps the government would take to convince the militants to sit down at the negotiating table.
Many observers are skeptical about peace talks since prior agreements with the militants have fallen apart.