Former chief cleric of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz refuses to take part in the peace negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Express News reported on Saturday.
Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official had requested Maulana Aziz to be a part of the peace talks.
The former chief cleric said that he prays for the success of the negotiations but cannot take part in them.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had set out an open mandate for a four-member committee of negotiators to formally initiate peace talks with TTP, inviting the grouping on January 31 to follow suit and constitute its own negotiating team.
On January 29, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid had welcomed peace talks with the government soon after Nawaz announced the committee in the National Assembly. Shahid had said the final decision regarding talks would be made by the shura (consultation council).
The committee comprises Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (retd) 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 Ali Khan would assist the committee and the premier would oversee it.
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