ISLAMABAD - Unabated terrorist attacks across the country once again come in the way of the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban nominated teams' meeting here on Thursday as the government team, through a letter, asked the TTP nominated team to first halt violence for meaningful peace talks.
Sources said that the continuous terrorist attacks have virtually imperilled the peace initiative and pushed the government and TTP teams in a dead alley with government not at all ready to proceed further with the peace process in the given situation where the terrorists are continuing with their nefarious activities and targeting the innocent people and law enforcement officials.
Meanwhile, the government team could not get fulfilled some of the demands of TTP nominated committee like their meeting with Chief of Army Staff and DG ISI, as both of them were not ready to oblige.
Sources said that in a meeting of the four-member government committee with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif soon after their informal interaction with TTP nominated team, serious concerns were raised on the unabated terrorists attack and it was the consensus view of all that TTP must stop attacks to pave way for the success of the peace parleys.
The government committee and the TTP backed team were to meet on Wednesday but the meeting was deferred for a day. The government team in its own meeting had decided that in Thursday’s meeting they would demand the TTP team to ensure end to all disruptive activities by the Taliban before talks.
But the Talban bombed a police van in Karachi Thursday morning killing 13 cops and wounding 58 others. On that, the government team deferred the meeting and wrote letter to the TTP designated negotiators telling them to first ensure halt to the terrorist activities and that only then both sides could sit across the table for meaningful dialogue.
The Core Commanders Conference of Pakistan Army had announced a conditional ceasefire only few days ago. In their meeting on Monday, the army top brass said they would hold on fire to provide enabling environment for the peace talks but warned that any attacks from the militants would attract retaliation. But militants have continued to carry out attacks on civilians and law enforcers. Informed sources said that the Karachi attack has further diminished the already slim chances of peace.
Prof Ibrahim, one of the TTP side negotiators who recently met with Taliban Shura in North Waziristan, has said that they had given the message of Taliban Shura to government team in their informal meeting on February 11 and now they were waiting for the reply. He further said that now ball was in the government's court and as soon as they would get the reply they would pass it on to the Taliban.
Though he did not disclose the contents of the government letter written to the TTP committee, he said the letter did not contain the government reply to the Taliban’s queries and demands. He further said that government team had also not responded to their demand of meeting with prime minister, army chief and ISI DG.
TTP committee head Samiul Haq has also called a meeting of Ulema in Lahore on Feb 15 and now any meeting between the government and TTP committee could only be held sometime during next week. A source in TTP nominated team said that they were waiting for the government reply on the TTP demands and they would be ready to meet the government team whenever they desired.