Govt, Taliban committees agree to continue talks
24 April, 2014
ISLAMABAD: The government and the Taliban negotiating committees on Wednesday agreed to continue the peace talks.
Member of the Taliban committee Professor Ibrahim Khan, talking to APP, after a joint meeting of both the committees here, said the direct meeting between the government negotiation committee and Taliban Shura would be held in a week's time.
He said all issues would be discussed in the direct meeting.Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan presided over the meeting.After the meeting, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Sami) chief and head of the Taliban talks committee Maulana Samiul Haq said both the committees had expressed satisfaction over the peace process despite certain reservations.
He said they reviewed the prospects and hurdles in the peace process. "The Taliban committee will continue efforts to make the dialogue process successful," he added.
Maulana Sami said the committee would contact the Taliban Shura to finalise arrangements for direct talks. He said he would urge the Taliban to extend their ceasefire to take the dialogue process forward.
The Taliban had ended their 40-day ceasefire on April 10 after they claimed the government had failed to make progress on their two initial demands – release of non-combatant prisoners and vacating some areas in South Waziristan for future talks.
The Taliban had also alleged that the government had continued arrests and "extrajudicial killings" of their prisoners.Maulana Sami said the negotiators will soon contact the Taliban political council to revive the dialogue process. He said the Taliban intermediaries were now convinced that the political and military leadership was on the same page on the talks.
Asked to why the talks have not made any progress so far, he said there are complaints and reservations on both sides, adding that there was a need to bridge the trust gap.He said that the committees reviewed the difficulties in the dialogue and agreed to take steps to remove misunderstandings and speed up the process.
Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the ongoing dialogue process.Sources said the two leaders, besides exchanging views over law and order situation, discussed the next phase of direct talks with the Taliban militants. The prime minister directed that the peace talks be continued from the point where they were stalled.