ISLAMABAD  - Avoiding questions about what procedure the government would adopt to hold peace dialogue with militant groups and what kind of demands they had made to the government, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Tuesday said the decision of the all parties conference (APC) to hold peace dialogue was not influenced by foreign pressure.

Briefing the media persons on Monday’s APC and on the law and order situation in Karachi at the Punjab House during a press conference, interior minister said Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups had so far made no demands to the government to undergo a peace deal and the first interaction from both sides would determine the demands.

“What the government will offer to the militant groups, it will be decided after the demands would come,” he said, adding, that the original offer of peace talks had come from TTP after general elections.

He said the procedure and the modus operandi to initiate peace dialogue with the militant groups was ready with the government as it had completed home work. Nisar, however, refused to share the same with media. He said APC had given authority to the government to make procedure and framework for dialogue and nothing would be concealed. “Everything will be done in a dignified manner,” he said.

The minister said decision to hold dialogue had neither been made to woo any international force nor to clear the way of military operation but it had been made on the will of the political leadership. He said TTP’s positive response to dialogue offer was a good omen.

Nisar said APC had issued the joint declaration with complete consensus of all parliamentary parties that participated in the moot and Monday’s APC was unique in the sense that no such consensus could be developed in the past. This consensus, at both political and military levels, was developed following the briefings by director general (DG) ISI and chief of army staff (COAS). He said the consensus was developed in just two or three days but it was the outcome of a hard work of last many months. He said a number of leaders of the political parties cancelled their international commitments to participate in the moot.

He said there was no terrorism or suicide bombings in Pakistan before 2004 because it was a blow back of 9/11 when a military dictator general (r) Pervez Musharraf took a decision to send troops to Fata. He said the government had to improve the situation with wisdom because violence begets violence. The minister advised that the media should tread on a sensible path and do fair reporting at least on the issue of peace dialogue as its single report could affect the peace.

“We got a severe reaction from militant groups on a news that Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) in its meeting had decided to exclude some militant groups from the peace process. DCC never discussed this issue,” he made it clear. He said even COAS General Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani did not talk to journalists because they were behind creation of misunderstandings as aired by some TV channels. He also admitted that media played a key role in consolidating the peace process. Nisar said the first draft of National Security Policy (NPC) was ready and the input of provinces was awaited.

The minister claimed that the rate of killings had gone down in Karachi in the past four days as a result of the targeted operations of Rangers and police.

“Rangers have arrested 158 target killers, extortionists and hardened criminals in 74 targeted raids led by intelligence reports and three snap checking during last four days, seized 111 weapons, 1,862 various kinds of ammunition,” he added. He said the Rangers had been given powers to deal with four kinds of heinous crimes; target killings, extortioning, kidnapping for ransom and terrorism.

About Karachi police, he said it had arrested 516 criminals involved in street crime. He said the sustained action and monitoring would continue and added that some of the arrested criminals were showing their political affiliation but no party had reacted against that so far.

To another question, the minister said the mandate had been given to chief minister Balochistan on the law and order situation of the province.

He said COAS had categorically denied any agreement on record in connection with drone attacks in the Monday’s meeting with PTI chief Imran Khan. He also said that government had taken no decision about the release of Taliban commander Mullah Baradar. He said it was too early to ask who would be the guarantors of the peace talks.

The minister told reporters that the people of the capital would soon see a strong action against those involved in extortions in Islamabad and especially its grain market.