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File photo shows Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.—File Photo
File photo shows Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The PML-N and JUI-F may not have reached the power-sharing formula at the centre, but they claim to have worked out a mechanism for holding talks with the Taliban.

Sources in the two parties told Dawn that both sides had decided that the talks with the Taliban would be held through a “grand peace jirga” as suggested by all the mainstream political parties in a “declaration” of the all-party conference (APC) organised by the JUI-F in Islamabad on Feb 28.

When contacted, JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai quoted party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as saying that an agreement had been reached between the two parties on the steps needed to be taken for achieving peace in the country through negotiations with the Taliban.

The JUI-F chief said that soon after coming to power, the PML-N government would prepare a “serious plan” for talks with the Taliban after taking all “stakeholders and policy-making institutions” on board. The government, he said, would then prepare a “roadmap” in the light of the outcome of the consultations.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of committees of the two parties currently engaged in dialogue to reach an understanding on a formula for sharing power at the centre.

About 30 mainstream political and religious parties had agreed at the APC to negotiate with militant elements through a broadened tribal jirga that had earlier been formed by the JUI-F. All members of the grand jirga were present at the conference.

The APC was hosted by the JUI-F two weeks after a similar gathering organised by the ANP which had also called for holding dialogue with the militant groups, but had not come up with any concrete plan.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had boycotted both the events and termed it a futile exercise.

The JUI-F spokesman said the PML-N leadership had already endorsed his party’s viewpoint that “indigenous conflict resolution mechanism” should be adopted. He explained that the two sides had agreed that the grand jirga constituted at the APC would be reconstituted and activated for talks with the Taliban.

He said the jirga backed by all mainstream parties could not start its work because of the general elections and had to wait till the formation of the new government.

Answering a question, he said the leadership of the two parties had already agreed on the mechanism and the talks at the committee level were being held on other issues, such as Madressah reforms, legislative agenda of the new government, etc.

Mr Achakzai said national agenda of the two parties were by and large similar as both of them wanted peace and economic reforms.

When asked if the JUI-F wanted to have a written agreement with the PML-N, he said that was desirable, but it was not its demand.

A PML-N leader privy to the talks between the two parties endorsed the JUI-F’s version and said the former had told the Maulana that it would stand by its commitment made in the APC joint declaration.

He said Nawaz Sharif had himself attended the APC and they could not even think of backtracking on the commitment made in the joint declaration. He said the PML-N had assured the Maulana that it would fully cooperate with his efforts to bring peace in the country and the region by using his influence and links in the tribal areas.

Moreover, he said, the future PML-N government at the centre would also extend its full cooperation to the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government in its efforts for peace in the province.

The PML-N leader denied reports that his party was negotiating with the JUI-F because of any international pressure. “There is no truth in such reports that we want to take the JUI-F along because the US wants to see it happen,” he said in categorical terms. Actually, he said, the PML-N wanted to seek cooperation of all political parties in and outside parliament in its efforts to steer the country out of crisis.

A source in the JUI-F denied any foreign pressure, but admitted that “the line of communication between the Maulana Sahab and the US are open”. The source said any “concrete regional or international consensus” would be taken into account. But, he said, the supreme interest of the nation would override any such consensus if there would be any “conflict of interests”.

“There might be some international consensus and the party will definitely keep it in mind. But eventually the national interest will prevail,” he added.

Comments (33) Closed

Ashok R. Prabhu May 27, 2013 06:40am

The initiative by PML-N and JUI-F to initiate negotiations with the Taliban in an effort to achieve peace in the Country is to be appreciated by everyone.If the talks succeed,it will be a milestone in Pakistan's march towards peace, Harmony and Growth.

rosh May 27, 2013 07:03am

Confusion and fear on Moulana face shows he is ready to play a political game to side track Imran Khan.

hamid nawaz May 27, 2013 07:23am

I think Mr. Diesel wants to do everything to make happy Nawaz Sharif to let him be part of PML-N government

Yawar May 27, 2013 08:08am

If they think a peace agreement with TTP will work, they are dreaming. TTP wants to be in power. They are not going to join Pakistan's democratic process because they know that hardly anyone in Pakistan or KPK, other than themselves, will ever vote for them. So another peace agreement or not, they will continue to use the only option they think they can use to attain their goal, terror and intimidation.

Rauf May 27, 2013 08:17am

Taliban butchered thousands of innocent Pakistanis. If Maulana Fazal and Mian Nawaz have any regards for the countless victims, they should register murder cases against Taliban leadership and bring them to justice. Also, government needs to check Islamic teachings spread through the "madrassas" controlled by Maulan Fazal and his cronies.

Amir May 27, 2013 08:18am

All crooks are are getting together, again. What is Fazl's resume in doing anyting for the country? zilch is the answer.

Azam May 27, 2013 08:44am

Wah Maulana Wah...communication between you and US are open...Mashallah. You are doing a great job in the name of Islam. Good Job.

Osman May 27, 2013 10:05am

Peace talks alone are not enough. They "must" be accompanied with at least the following 4 points:

  • Education emergency in Pakistan: aim 100% literacy for the new generation;
  • Economic reforms - provide jobs and occupy the masses;
  • Deweaponize Pakistan - no new licenses for guns/ammunition and "any" open display of firearms should be banned and such arms confiscated and related licenses cancelled;
  • For godsake, regulate and stop supply of fissile material (including fertilizer that can be used to create havoc), into the hands of terrorists.
duha khan May 27, 2013 10:49am

Please don't spoil the broth. Why are the rejected elements again at the helm of affairs.

Nisi May 27, 2013 11:28am

good and bold decision

Zainab May 27, 2013 11:47am

Prime Minister in waiting should take the negotiations with the Taliban seriously, and should resolve this issue. Since American troops are leaving Afghanistan next year, talk with the Taliban is in the national interest of Pakistan. World should also stop India from posing internal threats to Pakistan as she is using Taliban too and exploiting the people of tribal areas in the name of religion. India ought to understand that regional peace is in its own interest too.

Ameeds May 27, 2013 12:06pm

in the past same grand Jirgas and peace moves were initiated. They all back fired and the killers of innocent women and children (as always) put the peace process on hold while consolidating their positions.

Question that both the parties (JI & PML-N) have to ask is, "What if, it doesn't work?", Obviously, it won't because to have peace you need to have reliable partner and talibans are not reliable partners. A true talib of Quaran would understand the importance of peace in Islam, this bunch under the name of taliban are nothing but murderers.

Syed Hussain Akbari May 27, 2013 01:04pm

To talk to Taliban is to be against the principles of Quaid-e-Azam. The group joined together to talk to their ideal Taliban are those who spoke against Quaid-e-Azam when he strived for Pakistan.Is there any member of the communities who have faced the atrocities carried out by Taliban also in this group ? Just to repeat-- Talibans are those who have once told in an interview that they would have killed Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had he been alive today. Their reason they gave was in the name of the Founder of Pakistan. May God protect Pakistan!

Ali May 27, 2013 01:35pm

All corrupt men joining together in the name of saving Pakistan..

Mola he khair karay !!

FOZIA May 27, 2013 01:42pm

keeping the elected Govt. of KPK apart, what JUI & PMLN wants to achieve ?

Asif May 27, 2013 01:58pm

Imran Khan has been saying for the last 10 years to hold talks with these guys but alas they didn't listened. Now Maulana after a heavy defeat wants to create sympathy vote for him in the eyes of so-called Taliban has come up with this drama. I wonder who made his brain and I also feel Pakistan will defiantly go down if the people like him stay in the power and keep on playing with the future of coming generations.

Salma Khan May 27, 2013 02:31pm

Imran Khan, for many years, has been shouting at the top of his voice to negotiate with TTP and he has been labeled as 'Taliban Khan'. But when 'N' and 'F' want to talk with TTP, all's fine and dandy. With such hypocrisy, Pakistan, sadly, is going NO WHERE!

gangadin May 27, 2013 02:38pm

Well done. Let's negotiate with every one and have peace on the ground. Stability means prosperity.

pakiboy May 27, 2013 02:43pm

this is first time .. tht mass murderers are called for talks ... !! ..

haris May 27, 2013 03:15pm

The JUI-F chief said that soon after coming to power, the PML-N government would prepare a

Dr.M.M.Khan May 27, 2013 03:15pm

The ballot has spoken,the gums are quiet and it is time for the guns to be silent. It should not be TTP versus the democtatic forces. Sympathy for a cause should not mean a surrender to it.Let us put the terrorism in the rear window and move forward towards a prosperous pakistan. We cannot drive forward in reverse! The country harks for peace. Give the democratic forces a chance. Is it to much to ask?

Dharmendra Goel May 27, 2013 03:27pm

I am notquitesure what these methods of JUI recociliation of Taliban with asmany as 30Political parties envisage. One hopes PML N of Newa Sharif isnotdrawn to patheticNostalgia of medieval Islam by the traditional hyperboles of maulana, and leavesthe large youngergenerations of Pakistanisfumingof thissort ofreactionary questof islamisation under maulana, if this comes around , this would belie hopes ofmany liberal pakistanis seeingnewer modernist trends.D. Goel

saad May 27, 2013 03:31pm

"The JUI-F chief said that soon after coming to power, the PML-N government would prepare a

Noaman Rashid May 27, 2013 03:50pm

Taliban neither follow the teachings of Islam nor the traditions of Pukhthoons, so a waste of time holding dialogue with them. It's time for the elected government to make preparations for implementing the true sharia based on Quran and the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) to close the doors of all Fitnas and then the security forces can actively and justifiably act against those who claim they are fighting for establishment of sharia. Until this is not done, there will be excuses to carry out destruction and killings not only by the so called Talibans but also by the foreign agencies.

atis May 27, 2013 04:13pm

Mr nawaz shariff is trying to befriend a snake

pakistani May 27, 2013 04:49pm

i am not against talks and negotiation , but for a wahile if we peep into a near past nothing could have been achieved through talks with taliban. in fact taliban have alwyas used this strategy to strenthen and reorganise themselves under the name of seize fire with security forces . they have broke the treaty twice in tha past , swat came under their control during their so called seize fire with army . so shall we trust them again ?? keeping these facts before , what strategy and plan govt has to cope with militant and not let them gain strength , and stop them from recuruting youth from madrsahs for their evil purposes ?? govt and establishment must come up with some concrete plan keeping in view the psyche of militants . May almighty protect pakistan from ill wills and evil eyes . long live pakistan

Shahid Ali May 27, 2013 05:20pm

It is in the interest of Pakistan that people like Maulana Fazlur Rehman are kept out of any form of Government so that manipulation and exploitation of coalition government.

Yousuf May 27, 2013 05:32pm

@haris: PTI has alienated itself from all the APC in the past. They will be stakeholders if they show any intent. At the moment PTI looks like a rudderless ship - appointing a minister of the PPP-ANP govt. as their CM has further created doubts in the minds of the people (of course the people who support PTI just for the sake of PTI and IK may not agree - and it is their right)

Yousuf May 27, 2013 05:40pm

@FOZIA: PTI supporters need to remember that PML-N showed the political courage by letting the PTI form the govt. in KPK. So please improve your negative mindset and think about the country. Please question your leadership why an "experienced" Khattak is being made CM of KPK. I hope you know that there was a huge conflict in KPK when the same gentleman joined the PTI. Hope you people have the guts to absorb the truth and act like patriots. Stop following the personalities and start supporting everyone on good steps. Pakistan Zindabad

Razzaq May 27, 2013 06:16pm

If 'Jirgas' are given such importance, why have the constitution, the parliament etc.?

gangadin May 27, 2013 06:25pm

@pakiboy: This type of rhetoric plays well into the hands of enemies of Pakistan. Divide and rule has been the policy of these people long before 1947. Stability and peace at home and united front for the outsiders will really bring prosperity. I think that economic conditions can improve drastically. There is more than enough for every one but it will need peace.

Msiddique May 27, 2013 06:59pm

@gangadin: Overall peace should always be the objective. First outcome should be that Taliban will accept the constitution of Pakistan and accordingly disarm to a point where people customarily carry a rifle in KP. Only armed machine should be that of the government. Second should be that there will be a general amnesty but known MASS killers should be tried in court.

izhar May 28, 2013 12:04am

its good that next political government is firm and determined to address multiple challenges being faced by the country. govt must try its best to take all parties in gen and PTI in particular on board. respect should be given to all parties keeping aside the past conflicts and parties outside the govt should also respect the ruling parties. we need to keep prosperity and development of pakistan in focus and work together. if we r on one grid then its quite obvious that we win on table or any where else. all the best