Sharif stresses allegiance to Constitution

Updated February 22, 2014

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — File photo

LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has made it clear the government is ready to hold dialogue only with those who have respect for the Constitution and integrity of the country.

“We are ready for talks for stability and peace in Pakistan but let me make it clear we are willing to hold a dialogue only with those who have regard for the Constitution and integrity of the country...” he said while talking to PML-N workers in Raiwind on Friday.

Expressing his concern over the killing of innocent people, Mr Sharif said that at this testing moment all political parties and the people needed to be united.

“The Pakistan Army is the guarantor of the country’s security and the armymen are sacrificing their lives for the protection of the citizens,” he said.

There has been a breakdown in peace talks between the government and the Taliban in the aftermath of the Mohmand Taliban’s claim of killing 23 Frontier Corps soldiers and the death of a major in a clash this week. The military retaliated and carried out air strikes in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency on the hideouts of local and foreign militants.

Meanwhile, the PPP sees bleak chances of resumption of dialogue.

“Although the opposition had given mandate to the government to hold talks with the Taliban but there had never been bright chances of a breakthrough,” PPP information secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira told Dawn.

“We don’t think that the government has decided to launch an operation against the militants. The militants had shown their intention by killing the FC men and an army major and the government has taken action against them in retaliation.

“However, the government should tell the people that it has taken the action against those who were averse to peace in the country,” the former minister said.

He said the government should inform the people about the intensity of the threat from the militants.

“In the current scenario there seems little room for peace talks with the Taliban as the government’s earlier effort bore no fruit and eventually it will have to go after them,” he said.

While the PPP is of the view that a “surgical strike” has been carried out in North Waziristan, Jamaat-i-Islami chief Munawwar Hasan urged the prime minister to make a formal announcement about it if a decision had been made to conduct a “military operation”.