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JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — File photo

NOWSHERA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has gone to Qatar to hold talks with the Taliban, revealed Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a leader of the party and general secretary of the Milli Yakjehti Council, on Saturday.

Speaking at a condolence reference for Jamaat-i-Islami leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad here, he urged the government and the army to take the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s talks offer seriously and initiate a dialogue to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the general election.

But contrary to the statement by Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a spokesman for JUI-F, Abdul Jalil Jan, told Dawn in Peshawar that Maulana Fazl had gone abroad on a private visit.

According to the western media, the US is in contact with the Taliban in Qatar to persuade the militant group to initiate negotiations with the Afghan government as Washington prepares for the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in 2014.

Hafiz Hussain did not disclose on whose behalf Mr Rehman had gone to Doha.

However, he said the JUI-F was playing a pivotal role in the peace process and the maulana was in Qatar to advance the process.

He said the use of force was no solution to the conflict between the Taliban and the military and urged them to sit on the negotiating table to restore peace in the region.

The Jamaat’s deputy Amir, Sirajul Haq, said the government was looking towards the US for a signal after the negotiation offer by the Taliban. “The government is not sincere in peace negotiations and is waiting for dictation from Americans.”

He said if the US could hold talks with the Taliban why Pakistan could not do so.

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