You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Taliban leader welcomes peace talks

Unclear if others in Pakistan agree

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — A senior Pakistani Taliban commander welcomed the government’s recent offer to hold peace talks Thursday, raising the possibility the militant group has changed its stance after shunning negotiations earlier this year.

Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Taliban’s faction of fighters from central Punjab province, said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ‘‘demonstrated political maturity’’ by reiterating his offer to hold peace talks in a speech on Monday.

Continue reading below

‘‘If the present government takes an interest in solving matters seriously and with prudence, then there is no reason why jihadi forces active in Pakistan shouldn’t respond to it positively,’’ Muawiya said in a statement issued to journalists.

It is not entirely certain whether the Pakistani Taliban’s top leadership shares his sentiments. But they have backed previous statements made by Muawiya, saying he should be seen as having their support.

The commander was the first person to indicate at the end of last year that the Pakistani Taliban were open to holding peace talks.

Muawiya sent a letter to a local newspaper outlining conditions for a cease-fire, including the imposition of Islamic law and an end to the government’s unpopular alliance with the United States.

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud then released a video in which he said the group would consider a serious offer to talk but would not lay down their weapons as a precondition.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.