ISLAMABAD: The peace talks committees constituted by the government and the Taliban will meet in Islamabad on Tuesday at 2pm, media reported on Monday.
The decision came after Maulana Samiul Haq, a member of the Taliban nominated committee and Jamiat Uleme-e-Islam (S) leader, and Irfan Siddiqui who is representing the government in the peace talks held a telephone conversation. During the conversation, Maulana Sami informed Siddiqui that they were serious about the dialogue process.
A four member-committee formed by the government for talks with the Taliban includes the premier’s advisor on national affairs Irfan Siddiqui‚ veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai‚ former ambassador and expert on Afghanistan affairs Rustam Shah Mehmand and a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, while the federal interior minister who remained a focal person for the dialogue process will assist the committee and he will personally monitor the whole process.
The outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) proposed a five-member team for negotiations. It includes Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, Maulana Samiul Haq, Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Professor Muhammad Ibrahim and former MPA Mufti Kifayatullah of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl.
However, a meeting of the PTI core committee was held in Islamabad on Monday which decided against the party chief Imran Khan’s inclusion in peace committee. The meeting, however, welcomed the move and assured full support to the government and the Taliban to make the dialogue process successful.
The PTI Secretary General Jehangir Tareen said that Imran Khan will not join peace talks committee; rather Rustam Shah Mehmand will represent the party.
On the other hand, the TTP’s central shura constituted another 10-member committee for monitoring of the talks.
Its members include Qari Shakil Khan Haqqani, Umar Khalid Khurasani, Qari Bashir, Azam Tariq, the TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, Asmatullah Muavia and others.