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Nawaz wants early progress on peace talks with Taliban

12 February, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday expressed the desire for early progress in peace talks with the Taliban.

The government's negotiating committee called on Nawaz at the Prime Minister's House on Tuesday. The committee, comprising Irfan Siddiqui, Rustam Shah Mohmand and Major (r) Amir informed the prime minister about its meeting with Taliban's negotiating committee. The meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan and Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik. Earlier, Fazlur Rehman of JUI-F also called on Nawaz. They discussed matters relating to national importance.

The committee informed Prime Minister Nawaz of the positive response from the Taliban after being informed of the demands put forward by the government committee for talks. Nawaz said that an end to terrorist activities was pivotal for the dialogue process to be fruitful. Earlier, the government and Taliban committees held an informal meeting where they discussed the Taliban's response to the demands of the government.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Irfan Siddiqui, who is the coordinator of the government's committee, said the response from the Taliban's political shura over the demands of the government was satisfactory. Maulana Samiul Haq, who is a member of the committee nominated by the Taliban, said the demands of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were placed in front of the government's committee and in the first stage attempts at a ceasefire would be made. The two committees are scheduled to hold a a formal meeting today (Wednesday).

Members of the Taliban committee briefed the government peace committee on its talks with the political Shura of the Taliban during their visit to North Waziristan. The two committees held a joint meeting at the residence of Major (r) Amir. Maulana Samiul Haq, Prof Muhammad Ibrahim, Maulana Yousuf Shah, Prime Minister's Special Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (r) Muhammad Amir and Rustam Shah Mohmand attended the meeting.

Prof Muhammad Ibrahim and Maulana Yousuf Shah briefed the committee about the two-day talks which they held with the political Shura of the Taliban. They said that the Taliban Shura gave a positive and affirmative response to the points presented by the government committee. Taliban told them that they wanted to hold dialogue with open mind and it was also their wish that the nation hears good news soon. The Taliban said that for the sake of peace the members of the government committee would be welcomed whenever they want to meet.

End.

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