The militants contacted The Associated Press by telephone Sunday, a day after Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, recognised by many as the Pakistani Taliban’s deputy chief, announced the group was negotiating with the government. He was the first named commander to confirm talks.
Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan denied Mohammed’s claim, saying there would be no talks until the government imposed Islamic law.
Mullah Dadullah identified himself as the Pakistani Taliban’s chief in the Bajaur tribal area. He also denied talks.
On Saturday Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Maulvi Faqir Muhammad told a news agency that the banned outfit was holding talks with Islamabad. He said that the talks were going in right direction and peace would be restored in Bajaur Agency if the talks succeeded.
Maulvi Faqir Mohammed has long been identified as the group’s Bajaur head. But he reportedly fled to Afghanistan in recent years to escape army operations.