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

Red Sox Live



▼  8th Inning 1 outs

Pakistan, Taliban begin peace talks

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani government entered into formal talks with Taliban insurgents Thursday, exchanging possible ground rules for how best to try to reach a negotiated peace agreement.

A four-member delegation appointed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met for several hours with three representatives of the Pakistani Taliban in what is considered a last-ditch attempt to avoid a major domestic conflict.

Continue reading below

The Pakistani Taliban, formed when militant groups coalesced in late 2007 and early 2008, has waged a bloody insurgency aimed at imposing a harsh interpretation of Islamic law in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan. Under pressure domestically and abroad to end the violence, Sharif has sought for months to get the Taliban to the bargaining table.

If an agreement is not reached soon, the normally cautious prime minister may be forced to order military action, even as early as spring.

After the meeting, held at a government guest house in Islamabad, the two sides read a joint statement describing the gathering as ‘‘cordial.’’

The government team, led by Pakistani journalist Irfan Siddiqui, told the Taliban delegation that it wants an immediate cease-fire and the talks to remain within the framework of Pakistan’s constitution. The government also requested that the talks be limited to concerns only in those areas where the insurgency is strongest, most notably the resistive tribal areas near Afghanistan.

That request may be a precursor to future government concessions allowing greater autonomy for the Taliban in areas like North and South Waziristan, while trying to avoid elevating the group’s sway in more populated

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
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
Marketing image of