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Taliban be allowed to open office for talks: Imran

Updated September 26, 2013

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Without holding talks with the militants, PTI chief Imran Khan said, it would not be possible to end terrorism. He warned that the war against terrorism would continue to haunt the people of the country if his suggestion for a Taliban office was not taken seriously. — Photo by PPI
Without holding talks with the militants, PTI chief Imran Khan said, it would not be possible to end terrorism. He warned that the war against terrorism would continue to haunt the people of the country if his suggestion for a Taliban office was not taken seriously. — Photo by PPI
“If the Americans can allow the opening of office in Qatar to facilitate talks with the Afghan Taliban, why can’t we do in our own country,” Imran said during his visit to the lady Reading Hospital.  — PPI
“If the Americans can allow the opening of office in Qatar to facilitate talks with the Afghan Taliban, why can’t we do in our own country,” Imran said during his visit to the lady Reading Hospital. — PPI

PESHAWAR, Sept 25: PTI Chairman Imran Khan urged the government on Wednesday to allow Taliban to open an office for the peace dialogue to be held in accordance of a decision of the recently held all-party conference.

“If the government is serious about pursuing the dialogue process with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan it should allow them to have their own office like the one opened by the Afghan Taliban in Qatar,” Imran Khan told reporters outside the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar.

“If the Americans can allow the opening of office in Qatar to facilitate talks with the Afghan Taliban, why can’t we do in our own country,” he said.

Mr Khan visited the hospital for the second time since Sunday’s twin suicide attacks on the All Saints Church and met the injured in different wards.

He said he was surprised that while there were prospects of talks with the Taliban, acts of terrorism were continuing. How is it possible to negotiate, he asked, when terror strikes continued unabated.

He said that although the APC had decided to go for negotiations instead of using force, so far no mechanism had been put in place for the dialogue. The government should demonstrate some seriousness and declare a ceasefire to pave the way for result-oriented talks and to establish peace in the country.

Without holding talks with the militants, he said, it would not be possible to end terrorism. He warned that the war against terrorism would continue to haunt the people of the country if his suggestion for a Taliban office was not taken seriously.

People could no more live with terrorism because it halted progress, he added.

“Unfortunately, the church bombing in which innocent people were killed has been politicised by some politicians. It is shameful. We should stand by Christian brethren in these trying times,” he said.

Mr Khan said people wanted peace and for that they had voted for candidates of his party. “We will make every effort to get rid of terrorism so that people can heave a sigh of relief.”

He said that nine years ago there was only one Taliban group but now 35 groups were operating in the country.