ISLAMABAD: The chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz has excused himself from being a part of the peace negotiations with the Taliban militants, saying that he prays for the success of the negotiations but cannot take part in them.
The media reports said that Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official and a member of the four-member committee formed by the government to facilitate talks with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), met Maulana Abdul Aziz and requested him to be a part of the peace talks.
However, Maulana said that he prays for the success of the negotiations but cannot take part in them.
On the other hand, Major (retd) Muhammad Amir denied the reports, saying that neither he met the Lal Masid cleric nor sought his help.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday constituted a four-member committee for talks with the Taliban, saying the government has adopted the path of talks with the Taliban to give peace another chance in the lager interest of the country.
The committee 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 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.
On Friday, during the first meeting of the Taliban talks committee, the prime minister directed the committee to immediately start the dialogue process with the Taliban.
The prime minister expressed the desire to achieve the objective of peace through negotiations and said that the dialogue committee is fully empowered in the dialogue process.