ISLAMABAD - The TTP named 3-member team of negotiators Saturday met with Taliban leadership who put forward three conditions to proceed with dialogue process with the government.
The conditions include are: holding negotiations within limits of sharia, withdrawal of troops from conflict areas and release of captured members of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from Pakistani prisons, according to a private TV channel report.
Professor Ibrahim, committee coordinator Yousaf Shah and Samiul Haq’s special representative ‘Maulana’ Haseeb were airlifted from Peshawar to Miranshah on a government helicopter where they were first briefed by political agent and then they proceeded ahead.
The three negotiators met with TTP leaders at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan and conveyed them government’s message and informed them about the conditions for talks. Taliban central Shura (council) then met under Taliban deputy chief Sheikh Khalid Haqqani and then they put forth their own set of demands.
According to sources, negotiations between committee members and Taliban could last two to three phases and JUI-S chief Samiul Haq, who is a member of the original TTP-named team, is also expected to join the negotiations. However, there were no reports about former Lal Masjid cleric ‘Maulana’ Aziz’ going to NWA to join the meetings. He told a press conference on Friday that he would not play his role unless assured by the government about replacing the existing constitution with sharia laws in the whole country. Sources said that Taliban’s Shura was providing complete security to the visiting peace delegates.
Earlier, Yousuf Shah told the media that the committee had contacted the Taliban leadership and it is possible that the delegates would not necessarily go to Waziristan for talks. He also said that the government had assured them of providing helicopter but it may not be needed as the talks with TTP leaders could take place at some nearer place. No new demand has been given by government for meeting with the Taliban, he said. About Maulana Abdul Aziz, the coordinator said Samiul Haq had contacted Aziz and the latter is and will remain member of the Taliban designated team.
On February 6, in the first round of talks between the government-nominated team of negotiators and Taliban-nominated intermediaries, it was proposed that talks will be held within the parameters of constitution. It was agreed that all dialogue will be held within the parameters of Pakistan’s constitution.
A day later, however, the Lal Masjid prayer-leader Abdul Aziz, who is one of the members of the TTP committee, had announced that he has parted from the peace talks.
He added that the negotiations may be delayed because the government wants the dialogue to be conducted within the limits of the constitution but the Taliban believe only in the Quran and Sunnah. He would remain part of the TTP’s three-man delegation unless told otherwise, but would not come to the negotiating table, he had further stated.