ISLAMABAD  - With the government and TTP panels still struggling to agree on the venue of direct interaction between the TTP Shura and government committee, Maulana Fazlur Rehman has, once again, expressed his pessimism about the success of the peace talks .
In a statement issued here on Sunday, he, however, opposed the option of operation in case of failure of talks, adding that the government should also engage the extremist groups not operating under the umbrella of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
He, however, termed the military establishment's backing to the new peace committee of the government a good omen, saying such a support and backing could give some credence to the whole exercise. Terming granting of equal status to TTP in talks a big mistake on part of the government Fazl suggested that grand tribal jirga was the best forum for these negotiations.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Kh Asif in response to the press conference of one of the TTP backed panel members Prof Ibrahim said that the government was not having the women and children associated with TTP in custody.
In a statement issued on Sunday, he said that if TTP would provide evidence and details about the presence of such people in the custody of security forces, the government would definitely look into the matter seriously.
Prof Ibrahim in a press conference in Peshawar said that the government had not responded to their demand for the release of women and children associated with TTP leadership.