Samiul Haq quits Taliban peace talks
23 January, 2014
NOWSHERA: The chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) and head of the Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), Maulana Samiul Haq, on Wednesday dissociated himself from the initiative taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for holding peace talks with the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Talking to reporters at his residence in Akora Khattak, Sami said that he started making efforts to facilitate holding of a meaningful dialogue with the Taliban soon after his meeting with Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister's House in Islamabad on December 31.
The JUI-S chief said he received a positive response from the Taliban on January 2 and he wanted to inform the prime minister about the development. "I made several attempts to contact the PM till January 15 but to no avail," he said. He said he kept waiting for the response from the prime minister in the hope that he would inform him about the government's strategy.
Maulana Samiul Haq said he sent an email to the Prime Minister's House and also sent a letter, but did not release it to the media as it could have scuttled his efforts for initiating the peace talks.
The JUI-S chief said: "Two days before the federal cabinet meeting, I was informed that two persons at the PM's House had been deputed to coordinate with me, but nobody got in touch with me.
"I appealed to both the parties [government and Taliban] to announce a ceasefire on January 20, but the very next day the bombardment by fighter aircraft and shelling by helicopters in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency aggravated the situation," he stressed.
Maulana Samiul Haq said innocent people and soldiers were being killed, adding that the use of force was not the solution to the issue. He said, "I had made up my mind to play a role in bringing an end to the bloodshed of the innocent people and soldiers, but due to non-seriousness on the part of the government, I am dissociating from the peace talks initiative."
The JUI-S chief said, "I am releasing to the media the letter addressed to the prime minister to bring the facts to light. I don't want to engage in any kind of debate or discussion."
The JUI-S General Secretary, Maulana Yousaf Shah, and former member National Assembly Maulana Hamidul Haq, who is Maulana Samiul Haq's eldest son, were also present on the occasion.