Government claims progress in Taliban peace talks
07 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The government said on Sunday that the dialogue with the Taliban was progressing and expressed the hope it would be helpful in restoring peace and tranquillity in the country, state media reported on Sunday.
Information Minister Pervez Rashid, in an interview, said the government is pursuing the option of talks with the Taliban as proposed and endorsed by the All-Parties Conference. He said Taliban had showed willingness to hold dialogue and the government welcomed this, and responded with a positive gesture. He said Pakistan is following the policy of non-interference in other country's affairs and no one would be allowed to interfere in Pakistan's affairs.
Rashid claimed progress in talks between the government and the Taliban groups. However, he said that no timeframe could be given about the results for now. He noted that Pakistan has been facing terrorism, but unfortunately the previous governments failed to resolve the issue. He said terrorism cannot be resolved by use of force and the government will prefer talks to overcome the menace.
Replying to a question about high-level appointments in the army, the minister said a final decision in this regard would be revealed tomorrow (Monday). Referring to the recent flare-ups on the Line of Control, the minister stated that Pakistan is opposed to violation of ceasefire on the disputed border and has raised the issue with the Indian government. He said attempts to sabotage Sino-Pak ties have been foiled. The minister also said the government has decided in principle to restore YouTube, but no final date can be given in this regard.
Talking about the foreign policy, the information minister said that the international community has appreciated the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Rashid said Pakistan wanted friendly relations with India for lasting peace and stability in the region. About the electricity tariff, the minister said government has removed subsidy on electricity to make sure circular debt does not rise again. He said the government would continue to provide Rs 167 billion subsidy to consumers using up to two hundred units per month.
Rashid said the country had to generate electricity through hydro and coal resources as it was a cheaper way to address the energy shortage. The government, he added, would establish coal power projects to generate 6600MW electricity. The information minister also said that a decision with regards to the National Accountability chairman's appointment would be taken soon and consultations are continuing.