LAHORE - A leader, representing the Taliban in talks with the government, says the nation will hear a good news about the outcome of the negotiations within two days.
Although Maulana Yousaf Shah did not give any detail, it is being considered that the Taliban will agree to stop terror strikes.
He was talking to media people after Ulema and Maskhaikh Convention at a local hotel here on Saturday. Shah said that anti-peace activities would be brought to halt as formal ceasefire was announced. He clarified that there was no demand under discussion regarding Shariah or Constitution. He expressed the hope that ceasefire would be announced by tomorrow (Sunday) and the nation would receive good news in two days. He said the members would try to address concerns of the religious parties, but it would take some time to yield positive results.
On this occasion, the clerics, belonging to different school of thoughts, appealed to the government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to announce a truce for the sake of smooth peace talks.
The ulema and mashaikh unanimously supported the process of peace talks. The convention was attended by more than 200 clerics, representing 32 religious parties. The Ulema and Mashaikh Convention was chaired by chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Maulana Samiul Haq. On the occasion, the participants of the meeting reiterated their confidence in the peace talks committee headed by Maualana Samiul Haq.
The participants of the convention urged the Taliban to use the language of peace instead of weapons. “The government should pay attention to the real cause of violence in the country and the power corridors of the country should revisit the interior and foreign policies according to the resolutions passed by the Parliament and the All Parties Conference (APC) time and again besides dissociating the country from the proxy war,” they were of the view.
Announcing a joint declaration after the conference, Maulana Samiul Haq, who is also heading the peace talks committee nominated by the TTP, said the solution to the problem being faced by the country lies only in talks while a military operation and use of power would only give birth to an endless bloodshed. He said the operation would further fan terrorism which could be dangerous to the stability of the country. He said, “This gathering of clerics and religious leaders appeals to both the government and Taliban militants to immediately announce a ceasefire and pursue negotiations to restore peace in Pakistan.”
Reading the joint statement, he said, “Religious leaders discourage the use of a military option and focus on dialogue as a durable way for peace. Peace talks are the only way to establish peace in the country as war can never bring peace,” he said.
Samiul Haq was flanked by several other religious leaders, including Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hassan, Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi, TTP peace talks committee member Maulana Syed Muhammad Yousaf Shah, Maulana Abdul Ghaffar Ropri, Shah Awais Noorani, Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer, JI General Secretary Liaquat Baloch, Prof Muhammad Ibrahim and others.
Samiul Haq said the big powers of the world had witnessed the outcome of the war in Afghanistan, adding the peace process should be made successful at all costs as the use of power could not bring peace to the country.
Haq said dialogue was the only solution to the problems being faced by the country. “We will have to unite to defeat the forces trying to sabotage the peace process.”
He said, “We appeal to the Taliban that, being sons of Pakistani nation, you should move shoulder to shoulder with us for the sake of peace in the country.” He said, “We appeal to the Taliban to speak in the language of peace.” The communique also urged the government‚ the Taliban‚ ulema and media people to play their role to resolve the issues facing the country.
Announcing the joint communiqué‚ Samiul Haq said such ulema conventions would also be held in Karachi and Islamabad. He also announced to observe the coming Friday as the day of prayer for the success of the talks.
Earlier, addressing Ulema and Mashaikh Convention, Samiul Haq said the restoration of peace was a prerequisite to stability‚ progress and prosperity in the country. He said the convention had been convened to take the ulema into confidence over the talks between the government and Taliban committees. He said it was a big responsibility, and he was not capable of fulfilling it alone, so he invited all others to take part in the peace talks’ process. Haq said the religion did not allow torture, terror and extremism. He said, “Saving one person’s life is equal to saving all humans.”
Addressing the Ulema Convention, JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan said dialogue was the only way out to stop terrorism and lawlessness, so all patriotic forces must unite for the success of the talks. He said the ulema were united for the success of the talks and restoration of peace. He said there should be immediate ceasefire from both the sides. He said Pakistan had bitter experiences of military operations, so the path of dialogue must be adopted for peace. He remarked that if democratic system failed, no one would invite dictatorship, so the same approach would be adopted for peace. The JI chief said American lobby had been dreaming of a military operation which would ruin all prospects of peace, adding this lobby had been deeply hurt over the prime minister’s announcement for talks while the government and the Taliban had behaved most prudently in a complicated situation. He urged the nation to lend full support to Maulana Samiul Haq’s commendable efforts to resolve the issue.