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Govt asks Taliban to respond positively to peace overtures: Nisar

02 January, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has expressed the government's resolve to establish peace through the process of dialogue with Taliban and asked the militants to respond positively to peace initiatives.

The minister said that the government was pursuing the path of dialogue sincerely. Talking to JUI-F head Fazlur Rehman who called on him, Nisar said that it was also incumbent upon the other side to react positively. Overall political and security situation of the country was discussed during the talks with particular reference to the efforts being made for establishing peace in FATA.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said there should be no doubt in anybody's mind about the government's resolve to not only protect every inch of the country's territory but also the life and property of every citizen. He said enough blood has already been spilled and the patriotic people of FATA have suffered a lot. Nisar said some of the Taliban factions opposing the peace process must grow out of their mindsets and respond appropriately to the positive gestures of both the government and the entire political leadership of Pakistan.

Fazl expressed his confidence in the efforts of the government for establishing lasting peace in the affected areas and felt that this was the right time to seize the initiative. He said that the people of FATA genuinely want peace, as they have endured sufferings for over a decade. He hoped that the will of the people of FATA and Pakistan will prevail and assured that his party will assist the government in bringing peace in tribal areas.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday gave the green signal to Maulana Samiul Haq to initiate talks with the Taliban. The chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S), Maulana Samiul Haq assured the prime minister that he would apprise him of the situation after his meeting with the Taliban. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a one-on-one meeting with the maulana. The JUI-S chief, who had called on the premier, discussed threadbare matters relating to the talks with Taliban and the future strategy in this regard.

Sources said that the prime minister assigned the task of paving way for talks with the Taliban to Maulana Samiul Haq, who claims to have close relations with the Taliban. Prime Minister Nawaz told the maulana that the government sincerely desires talks with the Taliban and asked him to initiate the talks.

Later, while talking to a TV channel, Maulana Samiul Haq said that he met the prime minister on his request. He said he would try his best to help resolve this issue and added that the core issue was to stop the drone attacks. Maulana Samiul Haq said the US should understand that talks with the Taliban were in the interest of Pakistan as well as regional peace.

End.

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