Dialogue with Taleban to resume shortly

The possible dates and venues of direct talks between a government team and the Shura of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) were discussed at a meeting of a TTP-nominated committee.



By Our Correspondent

Published: Tue 18 Mar 2014, 12:07 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:39 AM

The second phase of peace talks between the government and the Taleban militants is likely to start next week, according to informed sources.

The possible dates and venues of direct talks between a government team and the Shura of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) were discussed at a meeting of a TTP-nominated committee, led by Maulana Samiul Haq, with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Saturday.

The sources said the government proposed the Bannu airport as the venue of the talks and Taleban negotiators suggested talks in Miranshah in North Waziristan.

The Taleban committee briefed Chaudhry Nisar on its meeting with the TTP Shura to set the stage for the second phase of dialogue.

Maulana Sami told the minister that the Taleban were sincere in holding talks and committed to the ceasefire. “They are trying to identify those violating the ceasefire and hold them accountable,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the country’s security would be endangered if talks with the Taleban fail.

Addressing the Sialkot District Bar Association, he said the economy was under crisis and the security situation will improve after the improvement of the economic situation. He said the government was striving to find a peaceful solution to the problem of militancy and terrorism in the country.

He said the government was sincerely holding peace talks with the Taleban. “It will be a great national loss if the talks fail,” he added.

The minister ruled out any possibility of suspending the legal process against former military president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf adding that Musharraf’s trial would be taken to a logical conclusion. He said Musharraf used to be very enthusiastic when he was in uniform and now he was hiding in a hospital to avoid trial.

He said the federal government would add 1,600 to 1,700 megawatts electricity to the national grid in April 2014, which would help reduce loadshedding in the summer season. He said there was an acute shortage of gas in the country. He hoped that the government would soon start importing gas, ending by crisis by the end of 2015. — news@khaleejtimes.com


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