PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD - The leader of Punjabi Taliban and Junood-e-Hafsa, Asmatullah Moavia, in his new message to the media, has said talks are possible with the government on the basis of principles.

Moavia said talks could be held if the government solved all the problems which were the cause of conflict. He said: “If the government reviews its foreign policy which revolves around the US and abolishes all laws against Islam, rapprochement can be made quite easily.” Moavia claimed that his outfit had deep roots in all parts of the country and the main purpose of the group was to serve the country, people and Islam. He said the Punjabi Taliban were active for implementation of Shariah for which this country was achieved.

The Punjabi Taliban leader said talks could not be held through the media or talk shows. He said the Taliban would present their demands only if the government showed seriousness. However, he said the media was presenting conditions for the talks from its side which was even against ethics and principles of journalism. He said the Taliban would take the nation into confidence after the talks.

Moavia said Junood-e-Hafsa was established after the Lal Masjid operation. He said Maulana Abdur Rasheed Ghazi raised his voice against vulgarity and obscenity, but the then government under the US pressured launched an operation and caused massive bloodshed, which became the reason for formation of Junood-e-Hafsa.

The Punjabi Taliban chief said the implementation of Shariah in the country was not a difficult task for the government. For this purpose, he said, the government should gather ulema from all parts of the country to seek their recommendations for the Shariah system.  He said the Taliban could not ignore the appeal of ulema for peace, but it had also appealed to the government to stop violence, adding the government should take the initiative for peace.

Moavia said the purpose of attacking foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat was to show the foreigners the pain which the tribal people endured due to continuous drone attacks. He warned they would continue their activities if drone attacks and bloodshed of Muslims from Syria to Burma continued.

He remarked the Taliban were not for sale and did not receive aid from any agency. He questioned the silence of the civil and military leadership over Kashmir and construction of Indian dams, adding India was their enemy number one. He said if the government gave them route, they would show their fighting capabilities in New Delhi. If India attacked Pakistan, his group would not side with the Pakistan government or the army, but would defend their homes with the help of Pakistani people, he said.

Moavia held that those receiving extortion in the name of Taliban or conducting attacks in churches or bazaars could not be Taliban or Mujahideen. He asserted such attacks were being carried out to defame the Taliban.