Nawaz statement attempt to harm talks process: TTP
29 September, 2013
LAHORE: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), while expressing concerns over Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's statement, has said that the premier has changed his stance and could not be trusted after the new statement.
A TTP spokesperson said that Nawaz Sharif changed his stance as soon as he arrived in the United States, and this act was an attempt to sabotage the dialogue process.
He said the statement by Nawaz Sharif had established that he was misleading both the Taliban and the people of Pakistan.
The TTP spokesperson, in an interview to Newsweek on Saturday, said that Nawaz Sharif has no authority to hold talks and reiterated its demand for the army to pull out from the tribal areas, release of its prisoners, and put an end to US drone strikes.
"We have already expressed our reservations. The government does not have the authority to hold dialogue. The authority lies with the army or with the US," TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in the interview.
If the government can somehow take steps to prove that it has the authority to hold talks, then the TTP will consider initiating a dialogue, he said. "Nawaz Sharif has proven he has no authority. When he was in Pakistan he was saying one thing, now when he has gone to America, he is talking about preconditions for talks," Shahid said.
"He is talking about laying down arms and accepting the Constitution. If we were willing to lay down arms and accept the Constitution, there would be no need to have any kind of dialogue."
In an interview in New York with the Wall Street Journal, Nawaz Sharif had said that the Pakistani Taliban will have to renounce terrorism. "They will have to say they are keen to do business with the government. It is a big setback [the recent attacks]. But then they said they disowned that. We are now trying to find out. Investigations have already started on this. The result of the investigation will come out in the next few days.
"They will have to abide by the Constitution of Pakistan. Because it's been often said by them that they don't recognise the Constitution of the country. But the Constitution has to be recognised. If we agree on addressing this terrorism, they will have to be disarmed, lay down their arms".