The Prime Minister (PM) will be presiding over the first meeting of a four-member peace- committee for negotiations with the Taliban to eradicate the menace of terrorism at the Prime Minister House on Friday.

The PM’s Advisor on National Affairs, Irfan Siddiqui , an important member of the committee, said the PM would be chairing the committee himself. The meeting’s purpose was to deliberate the scope and mandate for negotiations for the committee. The committee’s lack of mandate and its inability to provide a time-frame for the dialogue was criticised by several National Assembly members. However, the PM expressed hope for resolution of security issues through a peaceful process. It should be noted that Mullah Fazlullah had already constituted a Shura to meet the negotiation demands with Pakistan’s government in response, and had insisted that the armed operation on Pak-Afghan border should be halted to start peace talks.

Nawaz Sharif said that we should “give peace a chance” and this committee had been formulated to carry out a fruitful dialogue with the Taliban. The committee comprises Irfan Siddique, Major (r) Aamir, Rahimullah Yousafzai (journalist) and Rustam Shah Mohmand (former Ambassador to Afghanistan).