PM tasks Samiul Haq to revive conditions for Taliban talks

Updated December 31, 2013

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Chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and chairman of the Pakistan Defence Council, Maulana Samiul Haq. — File photo
Chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and chairman of the Pakistan Defence Council, Maulana Samiul Haq. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday delegated Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and chairman of the Pakistan Defence Council, the task to create a feasible environment to initiate a dialogue with the Pakistani Taliban, DawnNews quoted sources as saying.

Haq met with the prime minister today and the two discussed the strategy to revive conditions to initiate peace talks with the Taliban, sources said.

Prime Minister Sharif expressed serious interest in reviving the conditions for talks with the Taliban and requested Haq to assist the government in clearing the way for such dialogue to take place.

During the meeting, the premier said talks with the Taliban was the better option and Haq assured Prime Minister Sharif that he would do his utmost to enable the process.

The JUI-S chief told the prime minister that every time the government planned to talk peace with the militants, foreign powers tried to sabotage the process.

He added that the government would have to rethink its policies against terrorism and that it would also have to halt the action against militants in North Waziristan.

Haq also stressed that drone attacks in the country’s tribal areas would have to be stopped in order to revive the conditions for peace talks.

Hours later, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said no one had been mandated when it came to talks with the Taliban, adding that a governmental team was working in this regard.

The federal minister was speaking at a an inaugural ceremony of a regional passport office in Rawalpindi.

He further said that no operation had been launched in the North Waziristan tribal region and added that soon the country would see progress on the issue of talks with the Taliban.