ISLAMABAD - The government and Taliban nominated peace committees could not meet here on Saturday, as agreed by the Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan and Samiul Haq on Thursday last.
There is no record in the schedule of interior ministry of the meeting, which was reportedly fixed by Ch Nisar and chief of Taliban named mediators Samiul Haq for Saturday at Punjab House during their Thursday meeting, a source in the government informed.
Coordinator of Taliban nominated panel, Yousuf Shah confirmed the deferment of the meeting but did not give any pertinent reason for it. He however informed that there were some serious concerns of both the parties and the same would require formal resolution to make the next meeting between the two sides fruitful. But he said that such hurdles do come in negotiations and that they would overcome them very soon.
Sources in the TTP nominated committee informed that Nisar had conveyed his concerns over the recent statement of TTP spokesman Shahid Ullah Shahid to Sami on telephone and sought some explanations before their meeting. They said that in the face of threatening statements coming from both sides the peace process could not move forward. However, these sources hoped that things would improve in coming days and they would be able to put the things back on track.
Sources said that TTP also wanted some concrete steps before going for second round of talks with government peace committee and it is expected that government would release more non-combatant prisoners as confidence building measure in next few days. Sami had already informed interior minister about the TTP demand in this connection.
During his meeting with Sami on Thursday, Nisar had said that meaningful dialogue with TTP were not possible in the absence of ceasefire, while giving government stance on TTP spokesman’s statement that government had not taken any tangible steps to show their seriousness toward peace talks.
OPERATION CAN’T ENSURE
INP adds: Member Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiating team Professor Ibrahim said Saturday that dialogue was the only way to restore peace in Pakistan as operation could not guarantee calm and tranquility in the country.
Talking to media persons in Peshawar, he criticised Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) saying the PPP wanted peace in the country but also demanded operation at the same time.
He said operation could not ensure peace in the country.
The Taliban committee member asked the PPP leadership if operation was the only solution then why it did not recover Ali Haider Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer during its tenure in the government.
Prof Ibrahim said better conditions were needed for ceasefire.
To a question, he said he did not know anything about meeting between Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar and Maulana Samiul Haq.
“Maulana Samiul Haq has not summoned any meeting of Taliban Rabita Committee,” he added.