Pakistani Taliban set demands before peace talks

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The Pakistani Taliban demanded on Sunday 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 the group's leadership decided on the confidence building measures while meeting to discuss the government's offer to negotiate, The Associated Press reported.

The demands put doubts on whether the peace process will get started.

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.

However, it is unclear what the government would do to convince militants to negotiate.

Many observers are skeptical about peace talks since prior agreements with the militants have fallen apart, according to AP.

(With the Associated Press)

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