No harm in talking to Taliban: Nawaz Sharif

Published: May 20, 2013
Email
Nawaz Sharif addresses a convention on Monday. PHOTO: REUITERS

Nawaz Sharif addresses a convention on Monday. PHOTO: REUITERS

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif in his pre-parliamentary address in Lahore on Monday said that if there was an option to talk to the Taliban with the hope of making the country peaceful, they should take it. 

“We have never bad-mouthed anyone in our election campaign,” Sharif said in a slight to his opponents, Express News reported. “We accepted everyone’s mandate.”

“We will help the provincial governments in whatever way, but then there should be an end to the ongoing violence,” the prime minister-elect said.

Nawaz said holding negotiations is the only way to effectively solve problems.

“We have lost several lives, our economy is deteriorating… If Taliban offers us an option to have dialogue, we should take it seriously. Why can’t we talk to the Taliban to make our country peaceful?”

Working on common agenda

He said that affairs of the country should be given precedence over politics.

“All political parties need to work on one common agenda for the betterment of the country and this is what I reiterated when I went to Shaukat Khanum Hospital (to visit Imran Khan),” he added.

PML-N won the highest number of National Assembly seats in the general elections that took place in the country on May 11, establishing a simple majority in the centre. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) who won in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the elections has formed its own government in the province.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (51)

  • PTI supporter
    May 20, 2013 - 7:16PM

    Good gesture…PTI is on same page with you mian sahib…but the negotiations and pecce should be the foremost priority than other things!

    Recommend

  • EHM
    May 20, 2013 - 7:23PM

    It is a time for the ridiculous comments of the sold liberal radicals response to Nawaz Sharif statement of negotiations.

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    May 20, 2013 - 7:23PM

    Yes, you can talk to Taliban provided they accept constitution of Pakistan and has legitimate demands within its framework. If not, then there should be all out effort to drive them as well as their supports down to sea.

    Recommend

  • Hassaan
    May 20, 2013 - 7:37PM

    What if IK had said this? ET and Dawn websites would have been full of articles deriding and lampooning IK for his stance. Selective Criticism khappay.

    Recommend

  • EpicFail
    May 20, 2013 - 7:40PM

    Why such an apologetic tone? Talking to Taliban is the only way out of this mess so instead of being apologetic we should openly and firmly embrace talks. If some people do not want talks with Taliban then instead of getting our soldiers killed the state should equip the “anti negotiations” group with weapons and send them to fight Taliban themselves, almost guaranteed it wouldn’t take long before even the staunchest critics of talks with Taliban will be begging for dialogue.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 20, 2013 - 7:40PM

    I am sorry to all PTI supporters for calling Imran Khan Taliban Khan. I have been an idiot all along to denounce his stance on holding talks with the Taliban. Imran had foresight, PML-N and supporters like myself didn’t. Please consider this to be my heartfelt apology for being so unfair to him. We have been ridiculing Imran for his stance for 10 years, but over time he has been proven correct.

    Recommend

  • d
    May 20, 2013 - 7:41PM

    I hope that they wont over run our posts if we give them ground.

    Recommend

  • Usman Hassan
    May 20, 2013 - 7:47PM

    We accepted everyone’s mandate. Which mandate do the Taliban have, sir?

    Recommend

  • Afaq
    May 20, 2013 - 7:49PM

    Mature decision… I am urdu speaking and I support Sharif for the betterment.

    Recommend

  • Kosher Niazi
    May 20, 2013 - 7:50PM

    He is just following Zbigniew Brzezinski policy of talking with Taliban.

    Recommend

  • ashar
    May 20, 2013 - 8:03PM

    Good going Nawaz Sharif, Nation is with you.

    Recommend

  • A Khan
    May 20, 2013 - 8:05PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Perhaps Nawaz has been selected to work on the softest part of Imran’s policies. We hope to see him taking a tough stance on drones as well. Not me, not Imran Khan; all the British people think drones are breeding terrorists.

    Recommend

  • Naeem
    May 20, 2013 - 8:08PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Are you The Ch. Allah Daad???

    Recommend

  • choptocut
    May 20, 2013 - 8:26PM

    No harm in talking to Taliban, No harm if they kill our dauthers, no harm that they are killing our soldiers, no harm they are attacking our markets of children and women, no harm they are not complying with Pak constitution, no harm they are putting pakistan worst place on the planet in temrs of polio incidents, no harm they are backing out from their various peace accords.

    Recommend

  • Alami Musafir
    May 20, 2013 - 8:26PM

    The alternative to not talking to the Taliban is a widening civil war, which the establishment cannot win, and which will result in the death of Pakistan. This was the original intention of those whose actions lead to the creation of the Pakistani Taliban. Both Imran & Nawaz realise this, as do millions of others.

    All wars are economic, including the Taliban lead civil war. Embrace them as equals, address their basic needs: clean water, healthcare, education for their children, jobs and a stable, bright future free from bombing, shelling & drone attacks. Incorporate them and their constituents into the mainstream of national affairs. That relic of the Raj, political agents & the Jirga system must give way to fully inclusive Pakistani citizenship governed by our common legal code.

    Many will find this too hard to swallow, but the alternatives will be much worse.

    Recommend

  • Water Bottle
    May 20, 2013 - 8:26PM

    @Hassan

    What if IK had said this? ET and Dawn websites would have been full of articles deriding and lampooning IK for his stance. Selective Criticism khappay. “

    There’s a big difference between what Nawaz says and what IK says.

    IK says, no drones, only talks (Only carrots).

    Nawaz says, Drones and talks (Carrots and sticks).

    And latter is the approach that anyone takes. Sensible.

    Recommend

  • IceSoul
    May 20, 2013 - 8:31PM

    Why are we all playing with words? Come right out and say that the Taliban have won and we want to surrender.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 20, 2013 - 8:40PM

    The above comment posted with my name is not written by me. These PTI went into hiding are slowly emerging out of their holes and have started once again same old games. Anyway, I have nothing against them. Their historic thrash in Punjab is my reward.
    Mian Sahib has obligation to talk and try to convince Taliban to lay their arms and join mainstream but those Taliban who wear jeans and eat burgers will be given some work too, so that their parents who voted PML(N) also get some respite.Recommend

  • aq
    May 20, 2013 - 8:41PM

    what will the talks about? is it about accepting their brand of islam on gunpoint. IK and sharifs will fail big time if they accept taliban demands. Peace in the region needs broader consensus between different players including iran,india,china and russia beside of course international players. A word of advise for IK and Nawaz that not to follow jamaat islami ideology in matters of government otherwise you are bound to fail.

    Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 20, 2013 - 8:44PM

    This God damn problem of Musharaf has take a complete circle, and has laned once again with Nawaz Sharif. I would suggest that he hands over this military political mongrel to Kyani to settle it bfore he goes on retirement.

    Rex Minor.

    Recommend

  • EpicFail
    May 20, 2013 - 8:52PM

    @IceSoul, you don’t need to surrender mate. You can always go and join anti Taliban milita ;) so when are you doing that? or have YOU surrendered? By the way negotiations are not the same as surrendering…..

    Recommend

  • Enlightened
    May 20, 2013 - 9:17PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Haven’t you spoken too early as you may have to eat your words should the talks fail as several times in the past ? TTP would surely demand their pound of flesh in these talks ie to enforce their twisted ideology which is not acceptable to majority of the Pakistanis. The million dollar question shall be whether the PM designate under pressure accept their demands in totality much against the wishes of the people and take the country in the backward direction.

    Recommend

  • kanwal
    May 20, 2013 - 9:20PM

    Talk to them. I will NEVER wear a hijab in public though.

    Recommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    May 20, 2013 - 9:23PM

    They say there are some good ones too!

    Recommend

  • ashar
    May 20, 2013 - 9:31PM

    @kanwal:
    You dont have to wear hijab, only to observe modesty.

    Recommend

  • poleturtle
    May 20, 2013 - 9:32PM

    Of course if you don’t do it USA, SA and all other Masters will kick you out! Is it not the only reason they brought you to power?? Also because you have so long supported the TTP and literally own it?

    Let me lay it out for those who would like to:
    – Talk with Taliban- needs to be done to ensure that Americans get out of the rot in Afghanistan with all their fancy equipment. So the Leader said in his first Public statement after the vote.
    – Talks Fail- As there is no way all factions of Taliban can be brought together !!
    – The government is kept busy helping the Americans till 2015. The nation suffers !
    – Iran pipeline will become a Fairy Tale !
    – Gwadar Port stalls.
    – Government gets kicked after 3 years.

    Recommend

  • Syed
    May 20, 2013 - 9:37PM

    Sure. Go to Waziristan and talk to these Talibans.

    Recommend

  • cacha
    May 20, 2013 - 9:39PM

    @kanwal.. You should not wear hijab in Public. Its the matter between you and Allah if you are muslim.. It has nothing to do with Talks with Taliban, PTI or PMLN..

    Recommend

  • kanwal
    May 20, 2013 - 10:00PM

    @cacha
    In case you did nt notice, they even consider polio vaccines unislamic somehow. So i want to make sure they would nt blast me and no form of their version of islam is implemented on me. IK will lose all respect if he does any kind of “no-voting-for-women-in-Dir” kind of agreement with them again.

    Recommend

  • Bilal
    May 20, 2013 - 10:03PM

    Nawaz should just hire Imran Khan as his policy advisor. Why wait and copy paste all he does just get his opinion up front :)

    Recommend

  • kanwal
    May 20, 2013 - 10:04PM

    @ashar
    I wear a shalwar qameez usually. Otherwise a jeans with a long shirt. If anybody came in to ask me to do more “modesty” than this, even so much as to ask me to wear dopatta on head, i ll make sure to put them into their place.

    Recommend

  • Sanam
    May 20, 2013 - 10:21PM

    Well looks like the talibs have won. Sad

    Recommend

  • Rahul
    May 20, 2013 - 10:39PM

    That’s Great. Pakistan has now joined the league of Afghanistan.

    Recommend

  • May 20, 2013 - 11:02PM

    Are attacks by the Taliban during elections considered a mandate? Not surprised by the right-wing Nawaz Sharif’s act who religiously has pandered and kept connections to Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extremist groups such as the Af-Pak Taliban and ASWJ.

    We’ve talked to the Taliban terrorists and extremist militants before, in Swat and Waziristan, and they’ve always aggressed over and over.

    Talks and suspension of operations can be considered, but absolutely no major compromise of our law, rights and sovereignty, that would indicate an outright surrender, and the military should play its part in severing all use of ‘proxies’ or ‘assets’. At any moment those groups break any conditions, they should be dealt with harshly and do away with any other ridiculous notions of having ‘peace’ talks with butchers.

    Recommend

  • Laraib
    May 20, 2013 - 11:10PM

    Nawaz Sharif, we love you. Allah bless you.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 20, 2013 - 11:24PM

    Just to reiterate, the first comment wasn’t from me. If I had so much sense and dignity wouldn’t I have been supporting Imran Khan from the beginning? Please be wary of fakes.

    Recommend

  • Z
    May 21, 2013 - 12:09AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: Anybody who’s followed your comments in the past knows the first comment wasn’t from you. Someone masterfully wrote it to illustrate the irony here. You’ve been constantly criticizing Imran Khan for the stance that NS has now copied. And now you have the audacity to do a complete 180. Wow, the hypocrisy.

    Recommend

  • Midhat
    May 21, 2013 - 12:28AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: . If I had so much sense and dignity wouldn’t I have been supporting Imran Khan from the beginning?

    Lol! On a lighter note, please keep it coming. You are hillarious!

    Recommend

  • umar
    May 21, 2013 - 12:32AM

    @ kanwal…I can understand your frustration…our nation is full of bigots and seal-righteous people…..People will indulge in all the bad stuff and then go on preaching modesty for women…i admire your stand..

    Recommend

  • Naseer
    May 21, 2013 - 12:54AM

    If NS needs to talk, then talk like a man with authority – don’t start the dialogue as a looser (if you can’t beat them, join them approach).

    Recommend

  • Umer
    May 21, 2013 - 2:01AM

    If talking with Taliban means giving up territory to them then it should be Lahore and Raiwand that should be given to them. Then we’ll see how long Punjabis would love to live with Taliban.

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    May 21, 2013 - 2:45AM

    Kanwal, please don’t surrender to Islamophobia so rampant among liberals these days. Islam teaches modesty which is the jewel of all Islamic women. Whether you wear Hijab or not is a free choice available to Islamic women. Taliban have won fair and square, and you need to respect that, instead of writing alarmist posts. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

    Recommend

  • May 21, 2013 - 10:17AM

    @kaalchakra:

    Winning by murdering and bombing civilians, minorities, women and children at schools, hospitals, election polls and masjids is ‘fair and square’?

    Hard to understand, cooperate or respect the sick oppressive Taliban ideology and those twisted hypocrites that worship them.

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    May 21, 2013 - 9:51PM

    Bigsaf

    That is a regrettable attitude of intolerance toward a group that has worn its place on the table decisively and comprehensively. We must respect all. Denying people their natural and justly-deserved roles can only lead to further complications. Kindly reconsider.

    Recommend

  • antanug
    May 22, 2013 - 2:13AM

    @Laraib:
    but u hate imran for very same instace in the paz…well biased minds have very zhort memory7

    Recommend

  • May 22, 2013 - 2:24AM

    @kaalchakra:

    Of course I’m opposed, or ‘intolerant’, to murdering criminals who hi-jack Islam and claim to be so called Muslims. What an absurd charge and shameful display of munafiq hypocrisy, considering the psycho killers you insanely ‘respect’ and ideologically worship have shown such trait. There’s nothing to reconsider. Its one thing to have peace talks, but you betray the Pak state by aligning yourself with un-Islamic Kharijites who commit illegal, immoral, unnatural hateful violence and are unjust against other Pakistani citizens, such as minorities and myself.

    Recommend

  • Aysha
    May 22, 2013 - 3:57AM

    People who detonate bombs at will are not worthy of a dialogue process. They are a threat to our way of life.

    Only MQM can sort them out

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    May 22, 2013 - 8:02AM

    Bigsaf, be reasonable please. Taliban are fighters. They are not unjust to anybody. They are themselves seeking justice. Bring them on board to create a just society. No peace without justice. Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan know that. Hopefully they will do the right thing for Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Irtiza
    May 22, 2013 - 8:31AM

    Talk to them to give them some breathing space that will eventually help them in killing more of our inncoent citizens. Haven’t we tried talking to these beasts several times before without any fruitful results? BTW what else would you expect from a prime minister whose MNAs/MPAs have the support and backing of banned outfits.

    Recommend

  • EpicFail
    May 23, 2013 - 12:21AM

    Delusional much? When you are bent over backwards, trying to appease the other party and negotiating from a position of weakness, that is called surrender. Or, to be more precise “conditional surrender”.

    Recommend

  • May 23, 2013 - 2:25AM

    @kaalchakra:

    You can have your peace talks, but what’s unreasonable, if not twisted, is to continue being dishonest, delusional and despicable, claiming these militants who address their grievances by committing zulm against innocents are not unjust. What would be best for Pak is for it not to be betrayed by those who don’t even know right from wrong in their religion.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan