Jan 31, 2014, 4:54 PM
News Code: 81019351
0 Persons
Pakistani Taliban mull response to PM Sharif's dialogue offer

Islamabad, Jan 31, IRNA -- Pakistani Taliban negotiators went into a marathon session on Friday to review dialogue offer by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Taliban officials said.

The prime minister offered talks in his speech to the National Assembly and told the Taliban to give peace another chance.



The Prime Minister on Friday presided over the first meeting of a four-member committee he had formed for contact with the Taliban and gave some guidelines to its members.



Official sources said the Prime Minister directed the committee’s members to speed up the process.



The Taliban’s political council, tasked to take political decision, also started deliberations on Friday to discuss the government’s offer and come up with its own stance, a Taliban leader was quoted by section of the media as saying.



Qari Shakil Ahmed Haqqani, a Taliban commander from Mohmand Agency tribal region, is presiding over the eight-member political council’s meeting. The council’s decisions will be forwarded to the central leaders.



TTP chief Maulvi Fazalullah is likely to chair the meeting of the 16-member central council at an unknown place on Saturday to take a final decision, the TTP leader said.



Pakistani officials say Fazalullah operates from eastern Afghanistan after he has regrouped his fighters in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province.



On January 29, Nawaz had offered peace talks to the Taliban and had constituted a four-member committee for talks with them.



The committee comprises Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, former ISI official Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, senior journalist Rahimullah Yousufzai as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former Pakistan ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand



Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar would assist the committee and the premier would oversee it. The Prime Minister will personally monitor the process and one member of the committee will keep him informed about the progress.



Prime Minister Nawaz told the meeting that the terms of the dialogue process must be according to the laws of Pakistan.



The committee was given absolute power to seek assistance from any religious or political party, media person or army official in its attempt to make the dialogue process successful, section of the local media reported.



The prime minister assured the committee members of government’s all out support and said they will get all the required logistic and administrative assistance.



**2050