Jan 28, 2014, 11:21 AM
News Code: 2626685
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Pakistan holds US responsible for sabotaging Taliban talks

Islamabad, Jan 28, IRNA – Pakistan Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has told the parliament that contacts with the Taliban insurgents had been in an advance stage but an American drone attack which killed the Taliban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, in November derailed the process.

The interior minister said there were correspondence between the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the government including signed letter from Hakimullah Mehsud.

He said the process was sabotaged by killing of TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal region on November 1st. He said efforts were again made to establish contacts with new TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah‚ who is in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province‚ but he was non-responsive.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the option of establishing contacts with other groups within and outside the TTP was used and significant success was achieved‚ but a suicide attack on the security forces in the northwstern Bannu city this month has affected the contacts. Taliban had claimed responsibility.

The attack had killed 20 soldiers and injured 30 others. The security forces launched targeted operation against the Taliban militants in North Waziristan.

Khan said it is strange that TTP was not responding positively when contacts were being made but now when the nation is forging consensus on the need to tackle the problem either way‚ the TTP is favoring talks.

“It is the decisive moment in history of the country and we will have to forge consensus for whatever strategy has to be adopted.”

He told the National Assembly that a national consensus is prerequisite for the success of dialogue with or military operation against militants.

Responding to points raised by opposition lawmakers‚ the minister said the PM would take the parliament into confidence in this regard.

The minister said in the first phase‚ consultations will be held with intelligence agencies and parliamentary leadership followed by national political leadership.

Leader of the opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said, “The opposition will fully support the government whatever decision it takes about the Taliban. My party does not believe in doing politics on sensitive national issues.”

Another senior opposition leader Imran Khan also demanded that the Parliament should be taken on board about anti-terror strategy.

He said the government should inform the House whether or not it is going to launch an operation and if yes‚ then what would be its parameters.