ISLAMABAD - Following the announcement of unilateral truce for a month period by Taliban, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government sprung into action and in-house consultations have been initiated by Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif including taking the parliamentarians into confidence on the future course of action.

Sources said that before sitting with Tehreek-I-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) nominated committee for finalising the modalities of peace talks Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif wanted to have input from all the stakeholders including the main opposition parties in the Parliament.

Sources further said that Premier Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan would be making contacts with leadership of various political parties, mainly from opposition, to have their input on the recent truce announcement by TTP.

Sources in the government further said that Prime Minister would likely hold meeting with military top brass in next day or so to have the reflection on the whole scenario and the options with the government.

So far the signals coming from the government side were carefully and cautiously framed with no clear commitment of announcing truce from government side and instead the statement issued by the interior ministry stated that PML-N-led government had not launched any full-fledge operation against Taliban since assuming power and the surgical airstrikes at militant hideouts were just retaliation to the acts of terrorism they had committed against innocent civilians and military and paramilitary personnel.

Sources further said that it was the general perception in the government circles that the announcement of cessation of surgical strikes against militants would not come until the modalities of negotiations would be finalised by the government and TTB nominated teams.

It was further informed that instead of overt negotiations with TTP this time the backdoor channel would be preferred to broker peace with the militants, sources informed and added that Prime Minister Sharif was also considering reducing the role of the government committee in this regard and would prefer direct contacts with the militants through their interlocutors including some members of TTP nominated committee.

Sources in government further informed that the formal contact between the government and TTP nominated committees would be made after consultation with Maulana Samiul Haq, who would likely land back here today (Monday) after performing Umrah.

Sources further said that the Prime Minister wanted to take all the political leadership sitting across the aisle in the Parliament into confidence on the situation obtaining out of the truce announcement by TTP and to frame consensus policy on the issue.

In this connection the Prime Minister would likely make contacts with Leader of Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, JI Amir Syed Munawar Hassan, MQM Parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar, PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Quami Watan Party Chief Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and other leaders to have their input on the matter.


Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiation committee coordinator, Maulana Yusuf Shah, said on Sunday that after the ceasefire, now talks between government and TTP committees would restart soon.

He said that a meeting of the Taliban committee would be held in Islamabad to review the latest situation after the ceasefire. While a joint meeting of the government and Taliban committees, Yousaf said, is likely to be held with Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan tomorrow. He said that the ceasefire announcement would help to move forward the peace process, he said this while talking to media.

Rustam Shah Mohmand, member of the government committee, said that the government committee members would be meeting in a day or two to review the situation.

He said that following the ceasefire an environment of trust would be created and the swapping of prisoners would further strengthen the confidence in each other. He said that the government should demand extension in the period of Taliban ceasefire.

He was of the view that solution of issues would take time adding any agreement with Taliban would be made within the parameters of the constitution. He said that foreign militants in tribal areas have three options: surrender, leave the area or assure living peacefully, adding those foreign militants could not go back to their places; they have to be assimilated in the mainstream.