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Initiate peace talks with Taliban, PM Nawaz instructs team

01 February, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, while chairing a meeting with the four-member team constituted to hold dialogue with the Taliban, instructed the committee to initiate peace talks on immediate basis.

According to the sources, the four-member team formed by the government to hold talks with the Taliban met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to mull over the dialogue strategy.

The session was attended by all the four members of the committee that include Irfan Siddiqui‚ Rahimullah Yusufzai‚ Rustam Shah Mehmand and Major (retd) Amir. Irfan Siddiqui will discharge his duties as committee coordinator, sources added.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar was also present in the meeting that was chaired by the PM Nawaz.

During the discussion, PM Nawaz instructed the committee to initiate peace talks with the Taliban immediately in accordance with the laws of the country. He said that he wanted to make the efforts to restore peace successful and directed the interior minister to keep him informed about the progress.

The PM further asked the team to ensure establishing communication with the factions that are ready to take part in the dialogue process.

PM Nawaz said that Chaudhry Nisar will ensure providing required resources and secret information to the committee to facilitate the process while the government will also be responsible to provide foolproof security and travel facilities to the committee members.

Sources informed that it was also decided in the meeting that the committee will be able to exercise autonomy during the dialogues with Taliban.

PM gave guidelines for holding negotiations to the four-member committee formed to facilitate talks with Taliban militants,

The committee comprises of the premier's Advisor on National Affairs Irfan Siddique, veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, former ambassador and expert on Afghanistan affairs Rustam Shah Mohmand and former ISI official Major (Retd) Amir Shah and was assisted by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at the Prime Minister House.

Prime Minister Sharif issued guidelines to the committee and defined its jurisdiction. Sources informed that it was also decided in the meeting that the committee will be able to exercise autonomy during the dialogues with Taliban.

The committee members would decide the leading rules of engagement among themselves.

Premier Sharif had only one precondition for talks, which he had explained in the National Assembly on Wednesday that there should be no terrorist attacks during negotiations.

End.

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