Govt steps can lead to release of Gilani, Taseer sons, says Mohmand


Prof Ibrahim denies deadlock in dialogue process

A member of the government’s committee negotiating with Taliban on Friday said certain steps by the government can lead to the release of the abducted sons of ex-premier Yousaf Raza Gilani and late Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

Without elaborating, Rustam Shah Mohmand said that soon officials would be informed of these steps.

His statement came amidst reports that the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has refused to release the duo.

Ali Haider Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer were abducted by the Taliban in May last year and August 2011, respectively. Taliban has sought the release of over 400 non-combatants from the custody of security forces.

Shah said the list of prisoners provided by the Taliban was being probed. Though the government has officially denied that any women or children are in custody, Taliban insists otherwise.

Meanwhile, another committee member Professor Ibrahim Khan said that there was no deadlock in the dialogue process.

Ibrahim said the Taliban and government had not refused demands put forward by each side during direct talks held earlier this week. He added that confidence will increase if prisoners were released.

According to Ibrahim, a meeting was to take place today between the Taliban and the government-appointed committee but no contact had been made so far.

The Taliban committee member said they would try to make the ceasefire into permanent peace.