- Interior minister to meet Taliban negotiators on Saturday, says govt has its reservations on how things are progressing with militants
- Rustam Shah Mohmand says govt delayed decision on issues with TTP
- Prof Ibrahim says extension in ceasefire necessary for talks’ success
- Samiul Haq advises Taliban, govt to keep calm and show restraint
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday that a meeting with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) committee has been convened on Saturday to discuss the future course of action, as the Taliban interlocutors expressed optimism about the peace talks process.
Nisar said the government had worked sincerely to push the dialogue process forward, citing the government negotiation team’s visit to South Waziristan as an example. “But the ending of the ceasefire questions objectivity of dialogue,” he added.
Nisar said that if the Taliban had objections, the government too had some reservations. “However, these objections and reservations can be addressed at the negotiation table,” he said.
The TTP on Wednesday said that they would not be extending the ceasefire, the group’s spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said. The reason for this, he said, is the lack of progress from the government’s side regarding the Taliban’s demands.
Rustam Shah Mohmand, member of the government negotiating team with Taliban, has admitted that there had been a delay on the part of the government in taking decision on certain matters.
In an interview with a foreign media outfit, Mohmand stressed that the government should take steps to bring the talks with Taliban back on track. He said that despite not extending the ceasefire, the TTP has not closed its door for talks and hoped that a ceasefire would be agreed at the next round of talks.
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In the meanwhile, the head of Taliban negotiating team, Maulana Samiul Haq called upon the government and Taliban to observe restraint over the issue of extension in ceasefire.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Sami) chief, commenting on the Taliban’s decision of refusing extension in truce, said the two sides should demonstrate magnanimity in the process of talks because delays, disagreements and complaints were routine feature of the process.
Haq called upon the government to give more attention to the demands of Taliban. He also appealed to the people to offer special prayers during Friday prayers today for peace in the country.
Moreover, Taliban interlocutor Professor Ibrahim has said that Taliban are open to talks with the government despite refusing to extend the ceasefire.
Professor Ibrahim has said that the reservations of the Taliban will be presented to the government authorities. He said that for the success of the dialogue process, an extension in the ceasefire was necessary. He said efforts were being made to contact Taliban and convince them for ceasefire but the process was facing hurdles.
He said a number of complaints from the Taliban’s end had come forward via the media, adding that the TTP’s concerns should be addressed. He said contact should continue between the two sides, adding that that could soon lead to a resolution. He said a meeting of the Taliban negotiating team can be called to discuss the situation.