PESHAWAR: The member of Taliban negotiation committee, Prof Mohammad Ibrahim, has said that direct talks between the government committee and proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are expected to be held within a week.

Talking to journalists after attending a certificate distribution ceremony here on Thursday, he said that efforts were underway to persuade TTP to extend ceasefire. He said that some elements were propagating that Taliban didn’t accept constitution. It was wrong, he added.

Mr Ibrahim said that meeting with Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was positive and mechanism was discussed to put process of negotiations back on track. He said that second round of talks between the four-member committee of the government and TTP was expected within a week.

When asked about the implications of air strike in Khyber Agency which left several people dead and wounded, Mr Ibrahim said that government and Taliban should refrain from such extreme steps. He said that such activities could affect the process of negotiations.

Earlier, Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq in his address criticised the people, who had been opposing talks between government and Taliban. He said that such elements could not succeed in their nefarious designs.

He termed opponents of the negotiations ‘traitors’ and said that people of Pakistan had suffered socially and financially owing to the decade long militancy and military operations.

The JI chief said that people wanted result oriented negotiations between the government and TTP. He suggested that government and Taliban should delegate full authority to their respective committees.

Mr Haq, who also holds finance portfolio in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet, said that he could not manage to run two offices simultaneously and would have to quit ministerial post. Members of the central shura of JI would make final decision in that regard.

Earlier through a resolution the government was asked to withdraw Pakistan Protection Ordinance. Conspiracies against religious education should be stopped, it said and added that seminaries had already been streamlined and government should not hatch conspiracies at the behest of foreign masters.

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