ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani political leaders are endorsing the new government's efforts to negotiate with militants in the tribal regions.
Leaders at a conference of Pakistani political parties said in a statement Monday that they were authorizing the government to do what was necessary to bring about negotiations. They also distanced themselves from a war that they portrayed as being foisted on them by the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The statement also condemned the U.S.'s use of drones in the tribal region to kill militants.
Pakistan has been battling militants in the northwestern part of the country who do not recognize the authority of the government.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (nah-WAHZ' shah-REEF') came into office in June saying he supported talks instead of military operations to bring about peace.
Previously the Pakistani Taliban, the main militant group fighting in the tribal regions, had rejected Sharif's talk of negotiations. But a spokesman for the group welcomed the announcement Monday.