APC wants immediate dialogue with Taliban
01 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan government should take immediate measures to initiate peace talks with Taliban, says a declaration issued by an All Parties Conference (APC) organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) here on Thursday.
The APC, attended by all major political parties and tribal leaders, agreed on using the platform of grand tribal jirga for negotiations with Taliban. The declaration says membership of the grand jirga will be expanded to include stakeholders representing all schools of thought.
Reading the declaration of the APC, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman said the grand jirga will directly hold talks with Taliban for restoration of peace in the country.
"We will go to any extent for making this negotiation successful," he said.
The APC also recommended the establishment of a trust for the welfare of the families of the victims of war against terrorism. The JUI-F chief said the current, interim and up-coming government have to implement and support the recommendation of the APC.
Representatives of different political parties stressed that a positive response should be given to Taliban's offer for peace talks. They said it was the best opportunity for a government to make tangible measures and eliminate terrorism from the country once for all.
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said that peace is achieved through dialogue not war. He urged all the political parties to play their due role in meeting challenges faced by the country.
"We should keep our political differences aside and play due role for maintaining peace in the country," he said, and added that the offer of dialogue by Taliban should be taken seriously.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman said talks with Taliban will be useless without taking military into confidence. He said peace in Pakistan's tribal region was closely linked to peace in neighbouring Afghanistan.
"We should put the past behind and move forward for peace," he said.
Fazl hailed ruling PPP for participation in the APC, however he pointed out that the government had yet to define a clear-cut policy for holding talks with Taliban.
PPP president Makhdoom Amin Fahim said all efforts for peace would be supported, adding that a decision should be made which is within the writ of the government, law and constitution. "The PPP itself is a victim of terrorism," he said.
JI Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan said a positive response from the government regarding the Taliban's offer for peace talks had not come forward.
Aftab Sherpao said talks should be held only after the Taliban lay down their arms.
Dr Farooq Sattar from the MQM said peace in Karachi and Balochistan was tied to FATA and there was need to unite on a national agenda.
He said FATA has no constitutional identity. He suggested two-year tax relaxation for the industries in tribal areas.
Malik Qadir Khan, leader of the tribal jirga, said tribal areas have become synonym for terrorism in the eyes of the outer world.
PML-Q leader Mushahid Hussain said that if dialogue with India could be pursued, then why not with the Taliban.
Tehrike Tahafuzze Pakistan Chairman Dr Qadeer Khan said the war of others have been brought to the country.
Saleem Safi said an academy has been established in FATA which creates would-be suicide bombers and recently passing out parade of 150 suicide bombers was held there. He claimed that these bombers may be used in the upcoming general election.
Sheikh Rashid said Taliban are a reality now and could not be removed. He said today Kabul is safe than Karachi.