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Pakistan's prime minister says talks have begun with domestic Taliban; no details given

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Afghan refugee children play with a balloon in an alley of a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the U.N. refugee agency, thousands of them still live without electricity, running water and other basic services. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)The Associated Press

Pakistan's prime minister says talks have started with the domestic arm of the Taliban.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered no other details Thursday about who was taking part or what would be discussed.

Sharif said the talks must take place inside the framework of Pakistan's constitution. That could pose difficulties because the Pakistani Taliban is demanding a much harsher version of Islamic law across the country than allowed in the constitution.

Sharif was elected in part by promising to negotiate with militants in the country's northwest who have killed thousands of civilians and security forces. However, the militants have shown little appetite for talks.

Sharif's comments came during a meeting in London with the British deputy prime minister and were released in a statement by the Pakistani High Commission there.