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Peace talks with TTP will probably fail: Imran

08 February, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The peace negotiations between the government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) will probably fail and a resulting military operation would lead to more violence, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan told Bloomberg.

In an interview with the New York-based news website, Imran was quoted as saying: "The most likely result is that the negotiations will start, there will be about three or four big explosions and terrorist attacks and the negotiations will be called off." "There will be people baying for blood and the operation will start," he claimed.

Speaking about the US drone campaign, the PTI chief said the talks will only be meaningful if America announces an end to drone strikes.

"If the US stops drone attacks, announces stopping the drone attacks during the talks, it would be a big plus point," he stressed.

Imran further accused the US of sabotaging an earlier effort at talks with a November 1 drone attack that killed TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

"The US doesn't want peace talks here or peace in Pakistan while they are leaving Afghanistan," the report quoted Imran. "The thinking is that if they [insurgents] are engaged here, they would not be going across to fight."

Imran criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for waiting too long after the May election to start talks with the TTP. He said the state negotiation team also reflected Nawaz's lack of seriousness.

"If I was him, I would lead it myself; it's too important an issue for Pakistan," he said.

Commenting on why the TTP named him as a negotiator from their side, Imran boasted that they trust him to withstand US pressures.

Stressing that he disagrees with TTP's interpretation of Sharia law, Imran said "clearly, I don't represent Taliban".

End.

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