Return to Islam, end bloodshed: Minister asks Taliban

Islamabad, Jan 27 (IANS) Tough-talking Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik has once again asked the Taliban to "return to the fold of Islam" and end bloodshed in the country.

The minister termed the militants as "munafiqeen" (hypocrites) for misusing religion for violence, the Dawn reported.

Addressing the Taliban, Malik asked them at whose behest they were fighting.

"I invite all Taliban to come into the fold of Islam and stop 'qatl-o-gharat' (murder and pillage)," Malik was quoted as saying.

The minister, however, did not make it clear whether a halt in violence by the Taliban could lead to a dialogue with the government.

Pakistani authorities have previously said that talks could be held only after the militants lay down weapons.


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