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PPP, PTI, JUI-F, ANP support talks with Taliban

30 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's announcement of giving another chance to the peace talks with the Taliban received a positive response from all the political parties on both sides of the aisle in the National Assembly except the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which said the sacrifices of the martyrs were being spoiled.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) from the treasury benches were on the same page with the government on peace talks with the Taliban.

Just after the speech of the prime minister, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said the opposition will not do politics on the issue of terrorism and support the government. "We are with you and your government. We will support your another chance to peace talks," he added.

However, the opposition leader said there should be a timeframe or period should be fixed for the peace talks. He said the PPP always stated that there were some issues on which there should be no politics which relates to the sovereignty of the country.

The PTI chief Imran Khan also welcomed the announcement of the prime minister for the peace talks and said his party will fully support the peace initiative.

However, he questioned whether the ceasefire will apply to both the sides. He said in case of no ceasefire, efforts will be made by some elements to sabotage the peace initiative. "And the dialogue should be open and the committee should make public the progress of their meetings," he added.

Imran feared that the peace talks may be sabotaged like the previous talks which were droned. "The time has arrived to take a collective decision against the drone attacks just like the PTI's decision of stopping the Nato supply line in Peshawar," he said.

He complained to the prime minister about the statement of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and said politicians should stop giving conflicting statements.

The JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman supported the prime minister's initiative, but complained that being a coalition partner of the government, his party was not consulted on the decision. "The decision to initiate a dialogue is the right step, we support and welcome it, but our party faction was not consulted over the formation of the four-member committee… It seems decisions are taken somewhere else," the apparently unhappy JUI-F chief said. "We have to take forward the national consensus developed by the All Parties Conference (APC)."

He said the wrong policies of the past governments had plunged the country into the fire of terrorism and such policies were still continuing.

The MQM's parliamentary leader, Dr Farooq Sattar, voiced concerns over the recent acts of terrorism in the country and said the government should seriously make efforts for bringing peace to the country.

Farooq Sattar said terrorists were allowed to do whatever they wanted and it seems that the blood of the martyrs was being bargained. "The government wants to give a message that state institutions did not have the courage to fight against the terrorism or wanted to give a message that the state was being handed over to the Taliban," he added.

He said the state should announce that it was helpless before the terrorists.Farooq Sattar said the terrorists had destroyed the country but the government still wanted to give them a chance.

The ANP welcomed the decision of the prime minister to initiate the dialogue process with the Taliban. Talking to media persons outside the Parliament House, former chief minister of the KP Ameer Haider Hoti lauded the statement of leader of the house to give peace a chance.

The ANP spokesman, Zahid Khan, welcoming the announcement, said the committee constituted by the government to hold a dialogue should also consult other stakeholders to ensure the desired targets in a short time.

INP adds: In some tweets following Nawaz Sharif's address in the National Assembly, the PPP patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked the government what pre-conditions had been set for the talks. "I want him (PM) to be our Churchill. Unfortunately, he is becoming our Neville Chamberlain pursuing the policy of appeasement," he said. He said the government should give a report on how successful talks with the Taliban had been over the last nine months.Bilawal taunted: "Let's change Constitution. No matter what u do, treason, terrorism or mass murder. No prison & no consequences every1 b give option for talks."

End.

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