Peace moot wants truce extended, non-combatants freed

Published April 4, 2014
JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq addressing Peace Conference held in Peshawar. —Photo by PPI
JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq addressing Peace Conference held in Peshawar. —Photo by PPI
JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq and outgoing JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan exchanging view during Peace Conference held in Peshawar. —Photo by PPI
JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq and outgoing JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan exchanging view during Peace Conference held in Peshawar. —Photo by PPI

PESHAWAR: A Jamaat-i-Islami-sponsored ‘peace conference’ in the provincial capital on Thursday urged both the government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan to immediately extend ceasefire, which expired on April 1.

By unanimously passing a joint declaration, it also demanded that the two sides release all non-combatant prisoners in order to create conducive atmosphere for peace talks.

The declaration asked the government to take quick steps for the restoration of peace in the country.

The conference was attended by leaders of JUI-F, ANP, PML-N and PML-Q, QWP, JUI-S, PTI and other groups.

JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq, who was in attendance, was given the title of the ‘ambassador of peace’.

Outgoing JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senior minister Sirajul Haq also addressed the conference.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak who invited to the conference but he didn’t show up. PPP also remained absent.

JI leader and TTP dialogue committee member Professor Ibrahim Khan said the government and TTP would release each other’s prisoners in the next few days.

“Release of prisoners will rebuild trust between the government and the Taliban,” he said, urging the two sides to expedite dialogue to establish lasting peace in the region.

The JI leader said participation of political leaders in the conference showed that the people favoured peace talks.

Maulana Samiul Haq , who leads the TTP committee, admitted hurdles to the peace talks and said efforts were underway to remove them. He asked the government to take bold decisions.

“In case peace talks remain inconclusive, he being part of the talks committee will disclose details of the talks,” he said.

Syed Munawar Hassan said several all parties conferences had been organised, but remained fruitless.

He asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take concrete steps for the enforcement of Islamic system in the country.

The JUI-F, ANP and QWP leaders supported peace talks but expressed serious reservations over the four-member committee of the government.

They said the government should include politicians and tribal elders in the committee.

“This is very strange that the Taliban have engaged politicians in talks and the government bureaucrats,” said Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F.

He said the government should constitute a powerful and authorised committee for talks with the Taliban.

Chairman of the ANP organising committee supported Maulana Attaur Rehman’s point of view.

He said TTP had presented its demands through committee while there was confusion on the government side.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take nationalist forces into confidence on peace talks.

QWP leader Hashim Babar said negotiation was the last option and his party fully backed peace talks.

He said Pakistan and Afghanistan should initiate joint efforts for peace in the region.

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