LAHORE - The coordinator of the three-strong committee nominated by the Taliban for peace talks with a similar body constituted by the government says he doesn’t know how the Taliban plan to implement the Islamic system in the country.
“I can’t say what is in their mind; only they know what is in their mind”, said Maulana Yousaf Shah while talking to TheNation by phone on Sunday.
He was asked to enlist in sequence steps the Taliban want the government to take for the enforcement of the Islamic system.
“We’ll not like to be dragged into such controversies. TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid is the right man to answer this question,” said Maulana Yousaf.
JUI-S Amir Maulana Samiul Haq and Jamaat-i-Islami’s Senator Ibrahim Khan are other members of the committee.
Although Maulana Samiul Haq and Senator Ibrahim Khan say the 1973 Constitution is “not un-Islamic”, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid insists that the Taliban don’t recognise this document and want Quran and Sunnah as the supreme law.
Maulana Yousaf Shah was told that it appears that the committee members and the Taliban are not on the same page on this important question.
In response, he said if there was any confusion on the subject it would be resolved.
“Nobody should worry about this. Whenever we reach some result, we’ll inform the media.”
About the possibility of resumption of talks with the government-nominated committee, Maulana Yousaf Shah said there was no alternative to negotiations. He said he could not say whether the talks would take one day, one week, one month or more time to yield results, this was the only mechanism which could be relied upon.
He said he was “1,000 per cent” sure that talks would ultimately help bridge the gulf between the two sides.
Maulana Yousaf Shah did not offer any comment on the ISPR’s claim that no child or any woman was in the custody of the army.
“The claim that people falling in such categories were with the army had been made by the Taliban; the denial came from the ISPR; I cannot give my opinion on the subject.”
Asked if he invited the Taliban’s attention to the denial issued by the ISPR, Maulana Yousaf Shah said he would not like to discuss the matter in the media even if he had taken it up with the Taliban.
“I am not a Mufti,” replied Maulana Yousaf Shah when asked about the religious status of those killed at the hands of Taliban in various suicide attacks.
“Shouldn’t the Taliban leaders, who demand enforcement of sharia, offer Qisas or Diyet to the bereaved families of those killed in such attacks?” he was asked.
The TTP committee member said: “We’ll see what’s our legal and Islamic obligation in such cases.”
The talks between the government and the TTP committee remain suspended on account of differences on various issues.
The government committee wants the Taliban to stop attacks and recognise the 1973 Constitution before the resumption of talks.
However, TTP leaders say that it was the government which had started the war, so the ceasefire should be announced by them.
As for the recognition of the 1973 Constitution, TTP spokesman had said only a couple of days ago that Quran and Sunnah alone were acceptable to them.