PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Politicians called for peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban today, as the group killed 18 people in a pair of bombings in the country’s northwest on a police post and a vehicle carrying anti-Taliban militiamen.
The call for peace negotiations followed a meeting by many of the country’s main political parties in the capital, Islamabad, to discuss the issue. Momentum for peace talks has grown in recent weeks as both the Taliban and the government have said they are interested.
There are many skeptics who doubt the militants truly want peace and point to past agreements with the Taliban that fell apart. Those deals have been criticized for allowing the militants to regroup and rebuild their strength to resume fighting the government and foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
The Taliban have demanded that Pakistan sever ties with the United States and impose Islamic law in the country. Neither the country’s elected leaders nor the military have shown any inclination to agree to those demands.