Federal govt decides not to hold talks with Taliban

Regional TerrorismFederal govt decides not to hold talks with Taliban

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided not to hold peace talks with the Taliban, a decision taken after the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) appointed a ruthless commander as its new chief, highly placed government sources said.

The Shura of the banned militia appointed Mullah Fazlullah, a fugitive leader of Swati Taliban, as their new chief on November 7, a week after former supremo Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike in the restive North Waziristan tribal region.

   

The sources said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was closely observing the conduct of the TTP after the demise of its chief Hakeemullah Mehsud and was shocked to see Mullah Fazlullah as new leader of the TTP.

The prime minister had consulted his companions and military leadership of the country and decided that the government would not hold negotiations with the TTP for the time being, the sources said.

The sources further said that peace talks with the Taliban would remain suspended unless and until they announce to stop attacking civilians and Army.

The military leadership briefed the prime minister that Mullah Fazlullah was directly involved in attacks on Pakistan Army. They expressed apprehensions that the Taliban would take government’s efforts for peace talk as weakness.

Following the consultations with close companions and military leadership, the prime minister decided to freeze peace talks and said that the government would also take other political stakeholders into confidence on the issue.

Sources added that the government took no decision on whether or not to launch any major military action against Taliban.

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