NORTH WAZIRISTAN - Reiterating its commitment for peaceful resolution of decade-long conflict, outlawed Tehreek Taliban Pakistan offered conditional ceasefire on Wednesday while demanding the government to stop arresting and killing of their supporters in fake encounters.

“We are ready for peace talks and ceasefire if the security forces stop arresting and killing of our colleagues in fake encounters,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told this correspondent via telephonic conversation. He said they had organised all of their groups that would not violate ceasefire directives, if the government stopped killing of their colleagues. He said they were sincere in peace dialogue from the very first day. He added the government committee must obtain guarantee from the government that it would not target Taliban operatives held at various detention centres. He said they would soon announce ceasefire if the government was ready to accept the condition.

The Taliban spokesman said, “Our committee will wait for government’s assurance regarding stopping the killing of our colleagues at the hands of security forces.”

Shahidullah Shahid told AFP: “The government has killed more than 60 Taliban since the start of the peace talks, in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan, under a secret operation codenamed Operation Root Out.” He further said, “The killings of soldiers in Mohmand were in response to the onslaught on Taliban members by security forces during the talks between government and Taliban committees.”

A faction of the insurgent group in Mohmand near the Afghan border announced on Sunday they had executed 23 soldiers who were kidnapped in June 2010. The Taliban’s demands include the nationwide imposition of sharia law, an end to US drone strikes and the withdrawal of the army from northwestern tribal regions - conditions unlikely to be met.