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.