ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR - AMIR JALIL BOBRA and NADER BUNERI - Newly inducted Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui has said the first mandate of the Peace Committee constituted for the talks with Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is to establish contacts with Taliban and pave way for smooth dialogue.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday evening‚ he said contact numbers of the committee would be publicised and TTP would be encouraged to contact on these numbers. He said after contacts are established and a response is received‚ the committee would determine how to proceed further and devise a mechanism for peace talks. He said it would be appreciable if TTP also nominates a committee or some individuals for contact and communication for dialogue.
The special assistant said information suggested that TTP has welcomed and appreciated the nomination of the four members committee formed by the Prime Minister for dialogue. He also said that this committee will not behave like a traditional committee.
Replying to a question‚ he said the government wants early and result-oriented talks and the Prime Minister giving peace another chance has announced talks and dialogue with TTP to end terrorism in the country. Answering a question he said that committee is empowered to make necessary decisions and no time frame can be given for the talks process to conclude but every effort will be made to settle the issue on priority basis. He said, "Peace is our destiny and will be achieved as the whole nation is united for this purpose." He said the entire nation and all state institutions stand united if the government decides to react to terrorism with full force. Terrorism and peace can't go together. "The acts of terror must be stopped," he said.
He further said out of four members committee three of them belong to KPK and they all are well aware of ground realities in the troubled areas and have the expertise to negotiate with the TTP.
The other members of prime minister proposed committee for dialogue with Taliban on Wednesday said that they have joined the committee for the sole cause of restoration of peace and stopping the ongoing wave of violence and bloodshed in the country.
Talking to the media men in Peshawar, member of the peace committee Major (retd) Amir said that he was contacted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for recommending his name in the proposed peace committee to start dialogue process with Taliban. "Respecting the suggestion of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, I accepted the offer," he added. He said that earlier to this several offers were made for various designations but he refused but this time he joined this committee for the sake of peace and stability of the country. He assured that being a patriotic Pakistani he considers this mission as worship.
Former Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and former Pakistani ambassador to Kabul Rustam Shah Mohmand said that he was informed through media that his name was included in the peace committee. He informed that he would try to assist government for initiating talks with Taliban as it was long standing demand of tribal people as well as government of Pakistan to see peace in this country. He said that he was not contacted before the announcement of his name as he came to know through media. He said that though government has option of force the problems would not be resolved by launching military operation as only peaceful negotiation was the only solution to this issue.
He maintained that instead of following various hypotheses, both groups should demonstrate sincerity and seriousness in the dialogue process. He said that the committee would only assist the government and holding of dialogue will be responsibility of Taliban and government representatives.
Senior Journalist Rahimullah Yousafzi told that he was contacted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif regarding his nomination for holding talks with Taliban. He said that prime minister told him that for the cause of peace in Pakistan he has to take responsibility as member of peace committee and that is why he did not reject the offer for the cause of restoration of peace. He said that this committee would make necessary contacts with Taliban to start the process of dialogue and if any confusion occurred in the process of dialogue, it would be removed.