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Pakistan's Imran Khan declines to represent Taleban in peace talks with govt

Published on Feb 3, 2014 8:57 PM
Former Pakistan cricketer turned politician Imran Khan (right) and cricketer Shahid Afridi (left) look on during the launch ceremony of a cricket talent search in Peshawar on January 25, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The party of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said on Monday they "appreciated" a Taleban request for him to represent them in peace talks with the government, but declined the offer.

Two teams, nominated by the government and Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), will hold a preliminary meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon to chart a "roadmap" for talks.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif caused surprise last week by naming a team to begin dialogue with the militants, who have been waging a violent insurgency since 2007.

Following a bloody start to the year, with more than 110 people killed in militant attacks in January, many had been anticipating a military offensive against TTP strongholds in Pakistan's tribal areas.

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