ISLAMABAD - Former intelligence operative Maj. (retd) Amir, who is playing an important role in the ongoing peace parleys with Tehreek-I-Taliban Pakistan, has dissociated himself from the process and formally conveyed his decision to the government.
When contacted Maj. (retd) Amir confirmed this development saying that some of the members of the committee were using the platform for securing political mileage.
However, he refused to give any further detail and said that he would formally convey his concerns to Federal Interior Minister shortly.
Amir was part of the first government committee to initiate peace talks with militants under the head of Special Assistant to the PM Irfan Siddiqui but later the same was disbanded by the government owing to various reasons.
Later, the government had constituted another four-member peace committee purely comprising bureaucrats to hold direct talks with Taliban Shura but the name of Maj. (retd) Amir was not in the committee list.
However, keeping in view his vast experience and clout in various militant groups the government committee co-opted him in the committee and since then he remained part of all the meetings held with Taliban nominated peace committee and the sole direct contact with Taliban Shura somewhere in Waziristan Agency.
The sources close to him said that mainly Maj. (retd) Amir was not comfortable with some of the members of both the government and Taliban nominated peace committees for coming up with statements on media and wanted to carry forward the peace process covertly.
But when he saw that his voice was not carrying any weight in the meetings held in the recent past and since he was not the regular member of the four-member peace committee, he considered it better to step out of the ongoing peace process.
According to him, he would soon be meeting with the Federal Interior Minister to formally inform him about the reasons to quit the peace process but it was yet not clear whether Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan would allow him to dissociate from the peace parleys or convince him to stay part of the exercise, which has entered a crucial phase.
Huge terror attack feared in Punjab in May: Report
Online adds:the Punjab government, in regard of National Crisis Management Cell's report that suggested terror threat in major cities of the province including Lahore, has directed the authorities concerned to ensure maximum security at educational institutions, human rights centres, prisons, government offices and other sensitive places, sources said Monday.
The report also said that Punjab might become a victim of a huge terrorist activity in May. In this regard, an official statement has been issued, ordering regional police officers, DPOs and DCOs to upgrade security of all educational institutions, human rights centres, prisons and government offices that come under their area and submit the report to Interior Department within 72 hours.
According to report, important government figures are in danger of kidnapping too. The government sources revealed that a federal agency has expressed concern that Punjab's foreign-funded educational institutions might become victim of a terrorist activity.
In this regard, these schools and colleges have been alerted by the government and have been asked to increase security and also keep a tight watch on their parking lots.