Govt, opposition, army on same track over Taliban talks: Rashid

Published November 1, 2013
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervez Rashid talking to media representatives. — Photo by APP/File
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervez Rashid talking to media representatives. — Photo by APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Pervez Rashid on Friday said the government, the opposition and the army were on the same track on the issue of talks with militants, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to media representatives at the Parliament House, the minister said consensus on a decision will be developed as the talks progress.

“Discussions with the Taliban are in progress. The government is doing its utmost to establish peace in the region which is crucial for the country’s economic prosperity,” the minister said.

He downplayed opposition criticism, saying they had nothing better to do than to launch verbal attacks on the government by resorting to futile censure.

Earlier on Thursday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the government was in contact with the Taliban and would soon start ‘structured and formal’ talks with them in line with a decision taken by the all-party conference on Sept 9.

Also yesterday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in London that talks with the Taliban had started. The process seems discreet presently, as the prime minister did not elaborate on who is carrying out these talks and what is being discussed still remains shadowed.

In a statement issued from Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Thursday threatened to cut off Nato supplies moving through Pakistan if the US launched any drone strikes during the talks.

While the opposition parties are on board, having mandated the government via the APC to hold talks with the militants, it remains to be seen whether the appointment of a new army chief following General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s retirement on Nov 28 will have an impact on the process.

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