ISLAMABAD - Chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan said on Monday that the Taliban should announce an ‘unconditional ceasefire’ to save the dialogue process.
Addressing media persons outside the Parliament House in the federal capital, Khan said an operation should be carried out against Taliban militants involved in terrorism while negotiations should be held with those ready for talks.
Referring to the claim of responsibility by the Mohmand chapter of the Taliban for the killing of 23 FC personnel, he said an operation could be conducted against them.
He further said the majority of Taliban militants, comprising about 50 groups, and other tribes were in favour of dialogue, adding that the militants should be given another chance to hold peace talks.
Ups and downs were a part of the negotiation process and had he been in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s shoes, he would have led the peace talks himself, the PTI chief added.
Talking about the possibility of an operation, Khan said 80 per cent of the people displaced during the operation in South Waziristan were yet to be re-settled and the concerns of the population of North Waziristan should be considered before an operation was carried out in the region.
Staff Reporter adds: In the back-channel contacts made between the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban-nominated committee, the former has refused to show flexibility in the pre-conditions set for resumption of talks.
Sources aware of the development informed The Nation that government was of the considered view that TTP should not only announce a unilateral ceasefire but would also ensure its complete adherence by groups in the conglomeration of banned outfit.
Sources further said that in the meantime PML-n led Federal Government was in contact with some of the moderate groups, mainly operating in North Waziristan, to enter into some sort of understanding. However, these contacts were at a preliminary stage, the sources added.
Sources further said that the government negotiation team could meet the TTP nominated team in coming days but in the contacts made with some of the TTP team members including Moulana Samiul Haq the message was given loud and clear that before announcement of unilateral truce and some tangible measures of seriousness toward the negotiated settlement of the dispute the formal talks process with TTP could not be restored.
Sources further informed that in case of resumption of talks the whole exercise would be kept secret and the discussion and decisions of the meetings would not be played up in media, as some senior leaders in the ruling PML-N were of the view that due to over exposure to media had adverse effects on the whole dialogue process.
Meanwhile the people in the know of the situation informed that the ongoing surgical strikes against various militant groups would continue and government was in no mood to restart the dialogue process.
However, government would continue working on the relatively moderate groups in the TTP, which wanted to have negotiated settlement of the dispute.