US unaware of Pak Govt cease-fire agreement with Taliban

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Washington, Feb 8 : The US State Department has said that it was not aware of any cease fire agreement between the Pakistan Government with militants in the Waziristan area.

"We want to see an agreement that's effective. The last agreement wasn't effective, and by President Pervez Musharraf own admission," the Daily Times quoted US State Department spokesperson Tom Casey, as saying.

He said, " We do not have any knowledge of a new agreement or a new proposal for an agreement between the two, that would "move us back in the direction of the previous arrangement."

A cease-fire was declared in North Waziristan in September 2006, which collapsed in July 2007 and it was widely seen as a setback in the global war against terror.

Washington's circumspect view was in response to a spokesman of Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud saying last Sunday that a conditional offer for a cease-fire had been made to Islamabad.

According to a Geo News report, official sources were quoted as saying that Mehsud has told the Government that he could halt terrorist actions if the key commanders and militants arrested by security forces were released.

Pakistan Senator Saleh Shah was quoted by the private television channel as saying that Mehsud had authorised him to negotiate with the Government.

Shah said that he would discuss the matter with the government at NWFP Governor's House on February 10.

The federal Interior Ministry, however, did not confirm or deny that contact had been made with Mehsud.

ANI

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