ISLAMABAD: The four-member committee formed to facilitate talks with the Taliban militants on Friday urged the Taliban to complete their consultations process at the earliest and constitute a negotiating team for talks.
Talking to media persons in Islamabad on Friday, the coordinator of the committee and the premier’s advisor on national affairs ‚ Irfan Siddiqui said that this is the first message from the committee. He said that the committee held three sessions to discuss various issues regarding the dialogue.
The committee includes Irfan Siddiqui‚ veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai‚ former ambassador and expert on Afghanistan affairs Rustam Shah Mehmand and former ISI official Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, while the federal minister for interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who remained a focal person for the dialogue process will assist the committee and he will personally monitor the whole process.
Siddiqui said that the committee members sincerely want that there should be no delay in initiating the dialogue. He said that the committee is waiting for a response from the Taliban for a mechanism to proceed further.
The committee member also asked both the government and the Taliban not to make any statement that could vitiate atmosphere for the dialogue.
To a question‚ Siddiqui said if the Taliban constitute a committee then we will go for talks and decide the agenda.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave guidelines for holding negotiations to the dialogue committee during its first meeting in Islamabad and instructed it to immediately initiate the peace talks with the Taliban.
The federal interior minister briefed the committee about efforts so far made for dialogue and related issues, while the prime minister said that committee has full mandate to hold talks with the Taliban and there would be no obstacle in this regard.
TTP shura meeting:
A private news channel citing a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander reported that a meeting of the TTP shura council would meet in Peshawar on Friday with their Vice Ameer Sheikh Khalid Haqqani in the chair.
The TTP’s commander said that the meeting would constitute a committee headed by Ameer of political shura Qari Shakil for holding dialogue with the government.
In addition, the commander said that the shura may demand of the government for inclusion of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Syed Munawar Hassan or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Siraj-ul-Haq in the four-member committee formed by the government.