Peace initiative: TTP says serious in pursuing talks

Political Shura member says govt and army have to be on the same page for meaningful dialogue.

Zulfiqar Ali May 12, 2014
Political Shura member says govt and army have to be on the same page for meaningful dialogue. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


A senior leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said that his group is still serious in pursuing peace talks with the government which, according to a Taliban intermediary, is maintaining a ‘surprising silence’ on the matter.

“The date and venue for a second face-to-face meeting will be decided only when the government and the army come on the same page,” Azam Tariq Mehsud, a member of the TTP Political Shura and the group’s chief in South Waziristan Agency, told journalists by phone from an undisclosed location. However, he claimed that the army was not serious in pursuing peace talks.

Earlier this month, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan took offence at the ‘doublespeak’ and ‘unnecessary rhetoric’ [of the Taliban intermediaries] and said that the dialogue could not move forward in such a situation.

However, the Taliban intermediaries believe the onus of responsibility lies with the government.  “The silence of the government side [on peace talks] is surprising,” Maulana Yousaf Shah, the coordinator of the TTP intermediary committee told media persons in the Sheikh Sultan area of DI Khan.

“The use of military force has failed to restore peace [in the troubled areas] because peace comes through dialogue. And when peace prevails, the country will automatically come on the road to progress and development,” he said.

He added that the TTP was serious in pursuing peace talks. “We are constantly in touch with the TTP even though the government is keeping mum on the issue,” he added.

On Saturday, Reuters quoted a senior Taliban commander as saying that TTP Chief Maulana Fazlullah has sacked the group’s amir in South Waziristan, Khan Said, alias Sajna.

TTP leader Azam Tariq Mehsud, however, denied the report as baseless rumours. “Khan Said is still the amir of TTP’s South Waziristan chapter,” he told journalists.  “The TTP Central Shura hasn’t made any announcement. It [sacking an amir in such an unceremonious way] is against the organisational principles of the TTP.”

He added that all 16 members of the Central Shura supported Khan Said as TTP chief for South Waziristan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2014.


Last Word | 8 years ago | Reply

They are seriously pursuing the talks with all guns blazing ie 'Power comes from the barrel of the gun'.

Truth_Prevails | 8 years ago | Reply

Time to vaporize these mercenaries. You never negotiate with evil, you eliminate it!

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