ISLAMABAD - Allaying the impression of any deadlock between the government and Taliban Shura peace talks, Maulana Yousuf Shah, coordinator of Taliban nominated peace panel, attributed the delay in meeting between the two sides to some other reasons and engagements of Taliban.
Talking to The Nation on Wednesday, Shah ruled out any negative impact of the two terror attacks on two consecutive days, saying that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Shahid Ullah Shahid has not only dissociated TTP from these attacks but also condemned killing of innocent people.
The responsibility of bomb blast in Islamabad vegetable market was taken by an unknown Baloch group, which has raised serious concerns both in political and security circles.
Sources aware of the developments taking place on government-Taliban Shura peace talks informed The Nation that both the sides were preparing for the second face-to-face meeting at some secret location in the tribal area when all of a sudden armed clash between two Mehsud groups within the fold of TTP broke out which resulted in delay of second round of direct talks.
The infighting between two Mehsud groups has so far claimed around a dozen lives including a couple of second and third tier commanders from both sides.
Sources aware of these developments informed that delay in the talks was because of the infighting in these two groups and the influential commanders in TTP were busy negotiating with both the sides to help stop further bloodshed.
These sources further said that it was due to this reason that TTP spokesman had not come up with any comment on this infighting because they were covertly handling the situation to broker a truce between these groups having old rivalry.
When asked, Yousuf Shah refused to give any comment on the infighting in these two Mehsud groups and simply said that it was the internal matter of TTP and they should better handle it.
When his attention was drawn towards some critical comments of TTP spokesman casting negative aspersion on the sincerity of government towards peace talks, Shah simply said that media should focus on the last statement of Shahid Ullah Shahid wherein he had condemned the bomb attack in Islamabad’s vegetable market.
To a question he said that the meeting between Taliban Shura and the government could delay further and expected the same sometime during next week owing to some engagements of Taliban, without giving any details about these engagements.
When his attention was drawn towards the expiry of the extended ceasefire today (Thursday), Shah underplayed it saying that despite lapse in the deadline both sides would continue to observe restrain as they had done previously. “We will try to get the ceasefire extended for an indefinite period,” he added.