Pakistan Taliban commander confirms peace talks

By the Associated Press | December 10, 2011 | 3:36 AM EST

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani Taliban commander has confirmed the militant group is in talks with the government and says the negotiations are "progressing well."

The statement Saturday by Maulvi Faqir Mohammad is the first time that a named commander has said the group is negotiating with the Pakistani government.

The government has denied any such talks.

The United States is unlikely to support peace moves with the Pakistani Taliban, which it regards as a terrorist group.

Mohammad is said to be the deputy commander of the group. It is unclear whether he speaks for its entirety.

The network is believed to have splintered into different factions over the last year.