PESHAWAR - Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is reportedly thinking over retaining its existing peace talks committee and may appoint two of its key members, Qari Shakil and Maulana Azam Mehsud, for holding direct talks with the government.
Reports pouring here say that TTP’s central Shura had no objection to direct talks with the government and intended to nominate its two members, Qari Shakil and Maulana Azam Mehsud, to be part of its peace committee, headed by JUI-S Amir Maulana Samiul Haq and comprising Prof Ibrahim Khan and Maulana Yousaf Shah.
Reports, however, said final decision to nominate Qari Shakil and Maulana Azam Mehsud as representatives for direct talks with the government would be made by the TTP’s central Shura .
It has yet to be decided where the decisive second phase peace talks would take place, however, it is expected that both the committees would meet somewhere in Fata’s adjacent settled districts in KPK for which the PTI-led government has already offered to provide security and logistic support.
Moreover, Taliban intend to hold direct talks in the tribal areas. The TTP is pondering over handing more discretionary powers to the negotiators. The reports further revealed that Maulana Sami-ul-Haq had brought and conveyed a message of Imam-e-Ka’aba to Taliban and they had responded positively to that.
The TTP’s nominated Maulana Samiul Haq still has role to play in the future talks between the TTP and the government and he would remain part of the TTP negotiation team .
In another development, KPK Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said the PTI-led coalition government has forwarded two names to be included in the government committee which will soon hold talks with the Taliban-nominated committee.
He said he was in favour of direct talks between the government and TTP . In order to give representation to the KPK government in the talks , he said, the federal government had sought one name, but they had sent two names to the federal government.
He said his government would fully back the negotiation process and provide every sort of support, including logistic and security, to the negotiation teams if they were going to hold talks anywhere in the province.