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Dialogue with Taliban right way to move forward: Imran

19 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Tuesday that dialogue with the Taliban militants is the right way to move forward.

A PTI core committee meeting, chaired by Imran Khan, observed that talks for peace in Pakistan are in serious jeopardy because of lack of a ceasefire which should have been the first concrete step in the dialogue.

The un-interrupted killings of innocent people and of security personnel has created a serious impediment in the attempted process towards a peaceful Pakistan, it noted and stated that the party believes that the dialogue can proceed only when the killing and violence stop and there is a condemnation of acts of senseless violence and of the perpetrators.

The core committee meeting condemned the murder of 23 FC soldiers who were kidnapped in 2010. The PTI said it stands by the tremendous sacrifices that have been rendered by the armed forces, security personnel and policemen.

"However, we continue to believe that negotiations as decided by the APC and supported by parliament are the right way to go forward but at the same time we cannot ignore the death of innocent people," a party statement said.

The party said it is now clear that there are certain groups within the militants who are bent upon destroying the peace process. The core committee asked the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to announce an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Participants of the meeting appreciated that the government and the people of the country unanimously back the PTI's stated position that the talks as they are taking place and if they continue, would be held within the framework of the constitution.

Imran Khan on Monday termed the killing of 23 Frontier Constabulary (FC) soldiers by the Taliban as the most barbaric sabotage of peace negotiations. The PTI chief said the act was against the teachings of Islam. He hoped the government and military would let the nation know the veracity or otherwise of this news.

The PTI chief also expressed concern over the fact that the FC men had been held prisoner since 2010 in an area that had ostensibly been cleared by the military. Imran said the government at the time, the military and the present government, had all done nothing to secure the safe release of the soldiers who seemed to have been simply forgotten.

End.

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