ISLAMABAD - A day after Pakistani Taliban denied holding talks with authorities, the government has also rejected the reports in this regard as mere rumours.
Media reports on Saturday ran headlines reporting the start of peace talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) while some said there had been initial contacts with the militants. But a TTP spokesperson denied the reports the same day.
On Sunday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also declined holding talks with the insurgent group. “These reports are baseless as the decision to talks with the TTP would be taken during the All Parties’ Conference (APC) after taking political parties into confidence,” he said.
Nisar said that dialogue with the militants was a sensitive matter and spreading of misinformation prematurely can be detrimental to the effort. He said the government’s security policy had been finalised and political parties were united against terrorism. The interior minister said the previous govt did not take the Taliban offer for talks seriously but the current govt should consider making it an important component of the country’s anti-terrorism strategy. JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has repeatedly offered to assist the govt with Taliban talks saying that he wanted to help because no progress had been made in resolving this vital issue. The TTP in their offer for talks had recommended Fazl and Jamaat-Islami chief Munawar Hasan as intermediaries.