PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, yesterday, backtracked after favouring the government’s talks with the Taliban militants on

The governor earlier said that the government was open to talks with anyone and there was not a single force with whom the government was unwilling to hold talks even if they’re the Taliban.

“If the Taliban have anything genuine to say, there is no harm in talking to them. However, it doesn’t mean we will bow down or surrender this way,” he stated.

However, soon after media coverage, the Governor’s Secretariat issued a statement clarifying the governor’s earlier announcement on talks with the militants.

In the statement, a spokesman for the Governor’s House said although Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra had mentioned negotiation process in his media talk, it didn’t refer to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, which was a terrorist organisation.

“The government of Pakistan has already banned the TTP and therefore, the question of talking to it doesn’t arise. What the governor talked about the negotiation process refers to Pak-Afghan talks,” he insisted.

In another statement issued by the Governor’s Secretariat, Mr. Jhagra condemned the suicide bombing of the Charsadda district courts and praised the police personnel deployed there, who demonstrated ‘exemplary spirit of courage and bravery’ during the terrorist attack.

“The cowardly acts of terrorism can never deter the courage and determination of the nation against terrorism. The entire nation is fully united and determined to fight terrorism,” he said.

The governor prayed that the Almighty Allah rest the departed souls in peace and give courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with patience.