Taleban claim bid to kill Pakistan TV anchorman

Updated 27 November 2012
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Taleban claim bid to kill Pakistan TV anchorman

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s umbrella Taleban faction claimed responsibility on Tuesday for planting a bomb under the car of a prominent journalist and TV anchorman and threatened a second assassination bid.
Hamid Mir, who hosts prime-time show Capital Talk on Geo television and writes a column for the biggest-selling newspaper Jang, was criticized by the Taleban last month in the wake of the shooting of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.
“Life and death is in the hands of Allah. Allah saved his life but we will make a similar attempt again,” Tehreek-e-Taleban spokesman Ehsanullah said by telephone from an unknown location.
“Hamid Mir earlier shot into prominence for working in the interest of Islam and Muslims. We targeted him because now he is working against Islam and Muslims,” he said.
Police said the device — half a kilogram of explosives fitted with a detonator — was found stuck under his car in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on Monday.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik offered a cash reward of 50 million rupees ($500,000) for anyone with information about who was responsible for the powerful bomb.


Afghan leaders ‘optimistic’ over Taliban peace talks

Updated 24 June 2018
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Afghan leaders ‘optimistic’ over Taliban peace talks

  • The Taliban last week rejected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to extend the truce, but a government spokesman said on Saturday that the government was optimistic the militants were willing to engage in peace talks.
  • After ending the truce, the Taliban said its attacks against foreign troops and Afghans supporting them would continue.

KABUL: The Afghan government is confident of holding peace talks with Taliban militants despite a recent surge of attacks by insurgents, a palace spokesman said.

Shah Hussain Murtazawi said the announcement last week of a brief truce by the Taliban over Eid, the increasing movement of extremists and some field commanders to government-held areas, and a call for peace by the Imam of Makkah and the Saudi monarch were the basis of the government’s optimism.

The Taliban last week rejected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to extend the truce, but Murtazawi said on Saturday that the government was optimistic the militants were willing to engage in peace talks.

“A new chapter has been opened and the broad support for a cease-fire and an end to the war are the causes for our optimism,” he told Arab News.

“The fact that Taliban announced a truce and their commanders came into towns and celebrated Eid with government officials are positive signs that the extremists will be ready for talks with the government.”

However, no contact has been established with leaders of the group since the militants called off their truce, Murtazawi said.

After ending the truce, the Taliban said its attacks against foreign troops and Afghans supporting them would continue. Scores of Afghan troops have been killed in a spate of attacks, including assaults on military bases where the insurgents joined government forces to celebrate Eid.

Some tribal chiefs and local officials are calling for “safe zones” where extremists can hold initial talks with the government, according to a local official who refused to be named.