Lack of govt strategy behind delays in talks with Taliban: Shah

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Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah has said the government had no strategy to hold talks with the Taliban and it was the major reason of delay in this regard.

Talking to reporters, Shah said the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed that they did not accept the constitution of the country, “so under what circumstances, conditions and rules will the government hold peace talks?”

Shah said without stopping drone strikes, it was not possible to initiate peace talks.

“Ending drone attacks is top on the list of demands of Taliban,” he added.

He also vowed to oppose the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) from all platforms.

Shah thanked the prime minister for taking notice over his letter regarding implementation of decision made in the All-Parties Conference in consensus with all stakeholders.

However, he slammed the Punjab government for holding local bodies elections on non-party basis, saying the ruling PML-N proved itself to be a remnant of dictator Ziaul Haq.

The opposition leader said the superior judiciary wanted early local government elections in the country, but it had not yet taken up opposition’s petition against the holding of LG polls on non-party basis.

He described Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States as a failure and said continuation of drone strikes and US demand for Dr Shakil Afridi’s release was its proof.

“The prime minister could not present Pakistan’s case strongly,” he opined, urging the government to take the nation into confidence over talks with the Taliban.

To another question, he said Pak-Iran gas pipeline project was a test case for Nawaz Sharif.