LAHORE, Dec 3,2013 (Sumeera Riaz / UPI Next) The Nov. 1 killing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud by a U.S. drone strike and ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan have put prospective peace talks between the government and the Taliban group at risk.
A Taliban spokesman said the fundamentalist Islamic group will not negotiate with the government until the drone strikes stop.
Pakistani political parties that once seemed united after the All Parties Conference held in September on bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table are now disgruntled. They blame each other and government policies that are seen as appeasing its Western allies, local politicians say.
Local leaders in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province say Mehsud’s killing and a Nov. 20 drone strike on a religious seminary in the province’s Hangu district have dashed hopes for peace talks with the Taliban.