Pakistani officials, who recently have grown tired of American military influence in their region, have begun preliminary peace talks with members of the Taliban, according to reports.
Pakistani Taliban members have waged war against the government of the country over the past several years, according to The Associated Press. Recently, the Taliban have increased the number of suicide bombings and attacks in the region, and many Pakistanis believe the increase is related to the government cooperating with the United States. It is believed that a peace deal between Pakistanis and the group could represent the best hope of ending years of fighting that has killed thousands of security personnel and civilians.
The AP reported that U.S. military officials may be wary of the peace deals, since they likely will create a vast safe haven in the country for terrorist planners. However, the United States recently sought a similar peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban, so public denouncement of the talks is unlikely. The Pakistani Taliban trained the Pakistani-American who carried out a failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square in 2010.
On Saturday, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the AP that the group has demanded the Pakistani government cut ties with the United States if it wants to make peace with the militants.