ISLAMABAD: The preliminary peace talks between the government and the Taliban have been delayed.
The peace committees representing the government and the Taliban were scheduled to meet in Islamabad on Tuesday at 2pm to prepare a roadmap for peace talks.
However, the government committee refused to hold talks with the committee constituted by the Taliban today. The prime minister’s advisor on national affairs and the coordinator of the government-nominated peace committee Irfan Siddiqu informed Jamiat Uleme e Islam – Sami (JUI-S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq about the decision.
Meanwhile, the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said that the group will not include any further name in its peace committee.
The TTP spokesman said that its three-member nominated committee is final and whosoever wants to negotiate with the Taliban, he will have to hold talks with its committee.
The TTP three-member team for negotiations with the government committee includes Maulana Samiul Haq, Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, and Jamaat-i-Islami’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Professor Muhammad Ibrahim.
Earlier, a four-member committee representing the government for proposed peace talks with the Taliban held its meeting to discuss the situation emerging after the announcement of the TTP committee and its two members dissociating themselves from it.
The government-formed peace committee includes 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 meeting discussed matters relating to the TTP committee. It was decided to ask the committee representing the TTP to provide clarifications on certain matters.