ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday discussed the developments in the talks with Taliban with the government’s four-member team and various aspects of the peace parleys.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting, which was also attended by Federal Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and a few close associates of the Premier in Federal Cabinet. Various options for the ongoing peace process came under discussion and the government side also devised its strategy on how to go about the whole exercise and to what extent the government could accommodate the expected demands from the Tehreek-I-Taliban Pakistan.
Although the broader contours of the government policy towards the talks had already been defined and in the meeting on Monday the same were repeated. It was the unanimous view of the government that the negotiations would be within the framework of the constitution of Pakistan; the militants would have to accept the writ of the government and also to lay down their arms before entering into the negotiations process, the sources said.
Coordinator to the four-member government team Irfan Siddiqui and one of its key members Maj. (retd) Amir briefed the Prime Minister about the developments on peace parleys and their meetings with some important personalities having influence on the TTP leadership.
The Prime Minister and the other participants of the meeting were perturbed over the way the Taliban-nominated team was openly discussing the developments on media and directed the government team members to stay away from media and not to comment on private TV channels about the negotiations process.
Irfan Siddiqui informed the Premier about his contact with the senior member of Taliban committee Moulana Samiul Haq and their expected meeting today or tomorrow in the Federal Capital, wherein the TTP team would come up with some of the preliminary demands from Taliban side for sitting across the negotiations table.
It was further decided in the meeting that the government would hold talks from a stronger position and no out of the way relaxation would be given to Taliban, the sources informed.
The decision of Armed Forces to observe restraint but to come up with retaliation if attacked by TTP also figured in the meeting and it was decided that when both sides would sit across the table this point would also be raised with them.
On the other hand at the sidelines of the CCI meeting all the four chief ministers had put their weight behind the Prime Minister for the ongoing peace parleys with Taliban and hoped that the government would broker peace through negotiations to bring to an end the lingering imbroglio.
The PM in another development directed the Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa to extend all sort of logistic support to the Taliban nominated committee in their movement in the rugged mountainous regions of North Waziristan in connection with their meetings with TTP Shoora.