AKORA KHATTAK: Expressing sorrow over the killings of 23 FC men, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) intermediaries on Monday said the government and TTP peace committees should have met and discussed the issue.
The government negotiators and TTP intermediaries were scheduled to meet today but the meeting was called off after TTP claimed responsibility for killing 23 FC men.
Senior journalist Rahimullah Yousufzai, who is one of the members of the government committee, had said it was necessary to discuss the killings with the government before the state committee meets TTP negotiators.
During a press conference, TTP intermediary Professor Mohammad Ibrahim said their committee was a neutral body acting as a bridge between the government and the TTP.
“It is sad that the government negotiators have considered us as TTP representatives and refused to meet us; we don’t consider ourselves separate from the government representatives,” he said.
He regretted that the government committee members refused to meet TTP intermediaries for the second time.
Commenting on the media reports of a possible military operation, Prof Ibrahim said an armed response to the ongoing terrorism will only negatively affect Pakistan.
Professor Ibrahim said the goal to agree on a ceasefire was a difficult one but the TTP intermediaries are hopeful about a positive outcome. He also said the TTP committee will not defend the criminal actions of the banned outfit. “There are many elements involved in the issue creating chaos but our focus should be on ensuring peace in the country,” he added.
The intermediaries stressed that they should not be questioned about the actions of the TTP as they need to remain neutral. “Please, don’t force us to take any side.”