A TTP spokesman said that neither the group's chief Hakimullah Mehsud nor he spoke to PML-N lawmaker Javed Ibraheem Paracha over the telephone.

According to earlier reports, Mehsud had made contact with the Paracha, who had also confirmed that the TTP chief had telephoned him and given a list of 50 prisoners, demanding their release.

Paracha said that the prisoners were associated with the TTP and sectarian outfits Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

The Geo TV report said Paracha had visited Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail to meet Taliban prisoners. The channel quoted its sources as saying that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and an Inter-Services Intelligence officer met Paracha.

These reports come amid uncertainty and concerns about the prospects of peace talks with the Taliban. On Sunday, Major Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi and two more soldiers were killed in an IED attack carried out by the Taliban.

The TTP led by Mehsud is the main hurdle to talks but there seems to be a change of heart due to changing geo-strategic realities ahead of the drawdown of western forces in Afghanistan.

The traditional rivalry of Mehsuds and Wazirs, the latter being a dominant tribe from which the Waziristan region draws it name, could be one of the factors for the TTP to agree for talks, analysts said.

The Wazirs have peace deals with the government and concentrate on fighting in Afghanistan. It is also believed that business interests of leading tribesmen are at the centre of the new policy of militants as they want peace to promote trade.


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