PM Sharif hopeful about Taliban peace talks being successful

Published May 5, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. -File Photo
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. -File Photo

LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that he was hopeful peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban would be successful, despite the militant group ending their call for ceasefire.

Speaking in an interview with BBC Urdu, the prime minister said that dialogue was the best option in resolving the conflict.

During the interview he said that his strategy for holding talks could "bring peace without any further bloodshed".

"If we can make this process somehow successful, I think it will be the best option," he told BBC Urdu.

Critics point out that talks are merely a subterfuge being used by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to give them time to rearm and gain strength.

Others point out their skepticism as to whether the militants are ready to adhere to the Constitution.

The TTP have gone on record stating they do not accept the Pakistani Constitution and their commitment to enforcing their brand of Sharia law across Pakistan.

The prime minister however was adamant that the militant's have to disarm and accept the Constitution.

"This of course is the number one condition that has to be met.

"We are making progress on these issues. Let us see if the next round of meetings are successful and we can find a way to make headway in the talks we are holding with each other," the PM told BBC Urdu.

Talks to end the TTP's bloody seven-year insurgency have been under way since February.

Since the TTP began their campaign of violence in 2007, thousand's of people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around Pakistan.

Talks were a key campaign pledge for Sharif before he was elected to office for a third time last year, but some observers have cast doubt on their chances of success.

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