Pakistan government, Taleban begin talks: Sources

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Negotiators for Pakistan's government and Taleban met on Thursday for a first round of talks aimed at ending the militants' bloody seven-year insurgency, sources said.

The two sides gathered in Islamabad for a preliminary meeting likely to chart a "roadmap" for future discussions, amid deep scepticism over whether dialogue can yield a lasting peace deal.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella grouping of numerous militant factions, has waged a bloody campaign since 2007, killing thousands of people in gun and bomb attacks across the nuclear-armed state.

An official close to Mr Irfan Siddiqui, the chief government negotiator, told AFP the talks had begun on Thursday afternoon.

Another official at the talks venue, Mr Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House, confirmed that they had started.