PESHAWAR: Expressing their willingness for conditional peace talks with the government, the Pakistani Taliban called for the top three politicians of the country as guarantors for Taliban-government negotiations for stopping the conflict in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsnaullah Ehsan, in a video interview appearing with Adnan Rashid, the prime convict in the Pervez Musharraf attempted suicide attack case, said that if Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan acted as guarantors for the peace talks, they would be willing to negotiate in the best interest of the country.
“We have responded positively to the government peace talks offer but it seems to be non serious, however, despite the government’s non-seriousness, we feel there should be a chance given for restoration of peace through talks,” said the TTP spokesman.
“We can’t trust the military, in the past when peace deals were made, the politicians had been sabotaged by the army, so this time the government must act if its serious, but we need guarantees from the military as indirectly they are the rulers,” Ehsanullah replied to a query.
He added, “My organisation and I demand that if the government wants the peace talks to make headway, it has to give us three guarantors, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan. It will restore the TTP’s confidence if these three are nominated as guarantors and we will feel the government is sincere in negotiations,” Ehsanullah remarked.
He said that as a first step for peace, the government should set free Haji Muslim Khan, Qari Mehmood, and the five member negotiating team of the Swat Taliban who had been arrested by the security forces when they had gone for peace talks with them, along with TTP’s former spokesman, Maulvi Umar of Bajaur.
To another query he said that they had finalised a team for talks and it would be completed after the release of their mentioned leaders, who were also their political advisors and would have a key role in the peace talks if it was likely to take place.
About the inclusion of Dr Abdul Qadeer in peace talks, Ehsanullah said, “Dr Abdul Qadeer is Pakistan’s asset and he has done miracles for the Ummah, if he is nominated for the process his name would be also be significant, but I have not yet heard if he has been nominated by the government.”
To a query about the Karachi situation, the spokesman said that open acts of terrorism by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the form of killing of innocent people and religious scholars, and money extortion from traders and their killings were acts of atrocities and the TTP has decided to bring the MQM to justice and support the innocent people.
“The MQM had been targeted earlier and we will continue the attacks against them as we had attacked their gathering and killed their MPA, more attacks are likely to come,” he added.
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