ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif again met Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and top national security aides and military officials on Monday to discuss the future of the dialogue process with Taliban which appears to be running into fresh troubles with the new phase of violence.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam and Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad.

The meeting took place a day after the government suspended air strikes on militant hideouts in response to the TTP announcement of a unilateral ceasefire for one month. But by the time the session began the backdrop changed because of deadly militant attacks on the district courts complex in Islamabad and in Landikotal, Khyber Agency.

A military source said the meeting was originally convened to discuss a strategy for negotiations with Taliban after their decision to suspend violent activities, but much of the time was consumed by discussions on the fresh incidents.

The impression that the participants took with them from the meeting was that Prime Minister Sharif remained unmoved and was firm on trying dialogue despite the new attacks.

“He (Mr Sharif) is not giving up on the dialogue,” said a source who had spoken to one of the participants.

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