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Govt delaying talks with Taliban, says Fazl

March 09, 2013

PESHAWAR, March 9: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the federal government is indecisive about peace talks with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Speaking at a function here at the party’s central secretariat on Saturday, he said that Taliban had expressed confidence in the tribal jirga and showed willingness to hold talks, but the government was using delaying tactics. Like Taliban the government should also trust the jirga to initiate dialogue without wasting time, he said.

“I don’t know why the government is hesitant,” he stated, adding that the JUI-F in collaboration with the tribal elders had started efforts for restoration of lasting peace in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The JUI-F hosted all parties conference in Islamabad on February 28 and asked the country’s political leadership to give full authority to 67-member jirga to hold dialogue with the TTP. Taliban had welcomed the joint declaration of the APC.

Mr Rehman said that the government should come out of confusion and authorise the jirga to start negotiations with Taliban. He said that the political parties gave full mandate to the jirga to carry out talks with Taliban, but the government’s lukewarm response had disappointed them.

“I am confident that tribal jirga can play crucial role in restoration of peace in the region,” he said.

The JUI-F chief condemned Saturday’s bomb blast inside a mosque in Peshawar, which left four people dead and 29 others wounded. He said that the provincial government was silent over the worst lawlessness in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He claimed that the previous Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government had adopted serious measures to control terrorism in the province.

He said that masses had expectation from his party and promised that it would not disappoint the nation if it came into power. He claimed that popularity graph of the party was going up.

On this occasion, former MNA from Kohistan Maulana Mehboobullah Jan, former Senator Noor Sher Afridi and Zafarullah Afridi joined the JUI-F.