ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan scrambled on Friday to update opposition political leadership on the reported killing of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakeemullah Mehsud in a US drone attack and its repercussions for the planned peace talks.
Soon after the media reported the death of the TTP supremo, Chaudhry Nisar called the Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah of PPP, PTI chairman Imran Khan, JUI-F chief Fazalur Rehman and Jamaat-i-Islami leader Munawwar Hassan.
The minister’s official spokesman confirmed that Chaudhry Nisar had contacted the leaders and informed them about the development. He also called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has extended his stay in London.
According to the spokesman, Chaudhry Nisar discussed with the political leaders the likely adverse effects of Hakimullah’s killing on the government’s planned talks with the TTP. He told them (party leaders) that the government couldn’t confirm the killing of the TTP chief, but it was deeply concerned about its far-reaching impact on contacts with the Taliban which were still in initial stages.
Analysts are of the opinion that after the killing of the TTP chief, there is little hope for talks taking place between the government and the Taliban in near future. In recent weeks the government has been facing intense criticism from opposition parties for not making serious efforts about the talks.
Talking to a TV channel, Syed Khursheed Shah said the interior minister had informed him that the government planned to send some emissaries on Saturday to formally start talks with the TTP, but after the drone attack nothing could now be said with certainty.
Talking to Dawn, a spokesperson for the JUI-F said that Maulana Fazl in response to a call from the interior minister condemned the drone attack and advised the government to act with patience. The JUI-F leader said that international forces were hell-bent on disrupting the talks with the TTP and the continuation of drone attacks were part of the same plan.