A 45-member delegation of Pakistani tribal elders began talks with militant leaders near the Afghan border today in a bid to stem the spiralling violence that erupted after Islamic extremists scrapped a peace deal.
Pakistan’s government has attached high hopes to the success of the peace talks in Miran Shah, the main town of the troubled North Waziristan tribal region.
Suicide attacks, shootings and a siege and army raid on a mosque in Islamabad have killed about 285 people in Pakistan so far this month, raising concern about the threat posed by Islamic extremists and the country’s political stability.
Yesterday, three suicide bombings in north-western and southern Pakistan killed at least 51 people.
Violence has spread from Pakistan’s tribal areas to the capital and elsewhere since last week when militants abandoned a 2006 peace deal they signed with the government to stop attacks on troops and officials.
The militants ended the agreement after the army’s bloody assault on Islamabad’s Red Mosque last week.