Committees agree on venue for direct talks with TTP

Published March 22, 2014
Photo shows committees representing the government and the Taliban meeting in Islamabad with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.—Offical handout photo
Photo shows committees representing the government and the Taliban meeting in Islamabad with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.—Offical handout photo

ISLAMABAD: Committees representing the government and Taliban met here on Saturday for a two-hour long session to finalise the date and venue for the next phase of peace talks.

Member of the Taliban committee Maulana Samiul Haq said that key decisions were made during today's meeting.

He said that the two sides have agreed upon a venue for the next phase of negotiations with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and that the government committee would very soon enter into direct talks with the militant group.

“The process of talking directly to the Taliban will start in two to three days, both sides have agreed on the venue”, he told reporters following the meeting also attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Sami further said that reports that the Taliban had rejected the notion of holding talks outside Waziristan were mere speculation.

The TTP had proposed its stronghold of North Waziristan as the venue, while the government wanted to hold talks in Bannu.

Maulana Samiul Haq, however, stopped short of specifying if the negotiations would be taking place in Bannu.

“Both sides are showing flexibility and a willingness for success of the talks,” Haq added, saying the chosen place would be declared a “peace zone” but without specifying its location.

Another member of the committee, Maulana Yousuf Shah, said that Saturday’s meeting between the two committees were an important breakthrough. “The nation would soon hear good news,” he said.

Sources had told DawnNews earlier that the meeting also deliberated on the list of ‘prisoners’ under government detention shared by the Taliban. The two sides also discussed the release of persons kidnapped and held hostage by the militants, the sources said.


Also read: Analysis: implications of releasing TTP prisoners


Saturday’s meeting between the two committees was convened by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The interior minister told a press conference on Friday that direct talks between the government committee and Taliban Shura would begin in a few days.

A sensitive phase of the peace process was about to start and it would bring to an end all misgivings and misconceptions, he said.

He indicated that a month-long ceasefire announced by the TTP would continue beyond the March 31 deadline but did not elaborate.

The minister warned of action against elements conspiring to sabotage the peace process.

He said he was hopeful about a positive development in the peace process but said it was better for the government to move quietly and avoid media glare.

Opinion

Editorial

No end to hostility
Updated 17 Aug, 2022

No end to hostility

It is time for all parties to rise above petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull country back from brink.
Deadly accidents
17 Aug, 2022

Deadly accidents

TWO horrific accidents on Tuesday, which resulted in high death tolls, illustrate the dangers people face while ...
New banknote
17 Aug, 2022

New banknote

PAKISTAN has a new currency note to mark the diamond jubilee of independence. The 75-rupee banknote, issued by the...
Shared goals
Updated 16 Aug, 2022

Shared goals

It is high time that all parties realise that negotiation on the economy does not need to be held hostage to political rivalries.
Making amends?
16 Aug, 2022

Making amends?

WHERE relations with the US are concerned, there has been a distinct shift in Imran Khan’s tone. While the PTI...
Hazardous celebration
16 Aug, 2022

Hazardous celebration

CAN celebratory actions that often result in death or lifelong injuries really be described as such? Be it Eid, New...