ISLAMABAD : Chief of Taliban nominated panel for peace talks, Maulana Samiul Haq, has said that they are in contact with the government to finalise some venue for direct talks between the government and TTP. Talking to media persons here at a reception hosted by MNA Hafiz Abdul Karim in honour of a Saudi minister, Sami said that actually they had floated an idea of getting mutually agreed place as 'peace zone' where both sides could freely interact without any fear or pressure. To a question he dispelled the impression of a deadlock like situation between the two sides over the venue, quickly adding that a few places proposed by TTP and government were under consideration.

When his attention was drawn towards the statement of Defence Minister Kh Mohammad Asif, Sami in a lighter vein said that people should focus on the statements of Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan instead of provocative comments of Kh Asif. Sami said that TTP had not made any formal demands yet so the question of their rejection could not arise and termed Asif's statement baseless and unfounded.

To another question he expressed his optimism that the venue for talks would be finalised in the next couple of days after which the TTP Shura members would sit across the table with new government team to work out modalities of the negotiations. The demands from both sides would be put on the negotiation table, once both sides would formally initiate direct talks.

He ruled out the option of military operation even in case of failure of talks and added that military operation would have devastating fallout and everybody should focus on making the talks a complete success.