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April 21, 2014

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Pakistan Taliban want Imran Khan as representative

Updated Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 | 6 a.m.

DERA ISLAMIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban say they want four well-known politicians including ex-cricketer Imran Khan to represent them in talks with the government.

A statement from Khan's party, which runs the government in the Taliban's northwestern support base and is strongly pro-negotiations, said he is not likely to accept the role but could still assist the peace process.

The other three politicians, all from Pakistan's right-leaning parties, indicated on local television that they might speak for the militant group.

So has a fifth potential negotiator whom the Taliban say they want, a hard-line cleric.

The militant group's Sunday statement is responding to the Pakistani government's latest announcement to stick to its policy of a settlement through negotiations.