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‘If we followed Constitution war wouldn’t have been waged’

February 07, 2014

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TTP spokesman Shaihidullah Shahid Friday said that Taliban were fighting for Islamic Sharia and talks with the govt were for the same objective. – File Photo
TTP spokesman Shaihidullah Shahid Friday said that Taliban were fighting for Islamic Sharia and talks with the govt were for the same objective. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Central spokesman of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Shahidullah Shahid on Friday said that Taliban wouldn’t be waging a war against the government if they followed a law or a constitution other than Islamic Sharia.

According to a report on BBC Urdu website, he said the real purpose behind holding dialogue with Pakistani government was to enforce the Islamic Sharia in the country.

“The war we are fighting is for enforcement of Sharia….and talks with the government we will be holding will be for the same objective,” said Shahidullah.

Commenting on the conditions put forward by government negotiators, he said those were being consulted upon, however, he added that any decision in this regard would be made after his meeting with TTP negotiators.

Talks to end the militants’ bloody seven-year insurgency formally kicked off Thursday between a four-member government committee and a three-man Taliban team, amid much scepticism over whether dialogue can yield a lasting peace deal.

The first round of talks ended with both sides charting a roadmap for future negotiations, with the government team proposing that peace talks be pursued within the framework of the Constitution of Pakistan.

When he was asked how enforcement of Islamic Sharia was possible with an already imposed Constitution in the country? He replied: “This is simple because the other party we are holding peace talks with claim that they are Muslim…..and Pakistan was created in Islam’s name…so this task shouldn’t be difficult for any Muslim.”

“If we demand Americans to enforce Sharia in their country then it would be understandably difficult for them to do so but not for people who call themselves Muslims,” said the TTP spokesman.

Expressing optimism about outcome of peace talks, he said a meeting with Taliban negotiators was due in next four to five days in which further course of action would be directed to them.

Answering a query regarding dissociation of Maulana Abdul Aziz from peace talks, Shahidullah said Aziz was still his representative and that his reservations will be addressed soon.

“Maulana (Abdul) Aziz is not wrong in his stance,” he added.

Expressing his reservations over the dialogue process, saying he won’t be part of further negotiations, Aziz urged the government earlier today to remove the condition of holding talks under the constitution.

“There would be no problems if our constitution were the Quran and Sunnah. But the Taliban say they do not recognise the prevailing constitution,” Aziz told a press conference in Islamabad. “The people should not be misled into believing that our constitution is Islamic,” he had said.