Khattak suggests inclusion of KP governor in peace body

Health minister reiterates Taliban office proposal

PESHAWAR - Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak on Tuesday suggested that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and tribal elders from FATA should also be included in the government peace committee.
“My name has not been considered as a member peace talk committee. We have proposed two names, one of Qurban Khan and other Gulzar Khan, and the latter was ultimately named as member federal government talks committee for holding talks with Taliban committee,” he said this while talking to journalists on the premises of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
He, however, said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and tribal elders from FATA should also be included in the committee. The chief minister said that tribesmen had suffered to the core and they should be given representation in the talks committee. “ The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor or his representative must be included in the future committee as he is the chief executive of the tribal areas,” he added.
When asked about opening of Taliban office in Peshawar, Khattak said if the federal government and other stakeholders agree on establishing an office for Taliban then the KP government would not only provide office but is also ready to give Taliban other facilities in the province.
He said that his stance is not different from Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan regarding office for Taliban as talks could not be held in mountains but needs a proper place. He asked the federal government to include responsible persons and officials in the fresh committee. “We have always preferred talks over use of force as holding jirga and negotiations are the only solution to the current crisis,” he added. He also appreciated the role of peace committees for bringing together the government and Taliban on ceasefire and holding meaningful dialogues.
To a question, he replied that there was a complete harmony and understanding among the coalition partners and said that the PTI and its partners were enjoying support of the majority in the provincial assembly. “It is the game of number and we have the support of more than 70 members in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly,” he said and added that the alliance of some political parties for local bodies elections would not affect the PTI popularity in the province.
Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai has reiterated his stance about opening of an office for Taliban in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Talking to media persons, he said that provincial government would support each and every step taken by the federal government to establish peace in the country. Yousafzai said that he still stands by his statement regarding an offer to Taliban to open office in any part of the province.
‘Civilian govt must be in driving seat’: Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Parliamentary Leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao on Tuesday said that the civilian government must be in the driving seat while holding talks with Taliban
He was speaking at a press conference at the Watan Kor, the party’s central secretariat, where Ejaz Khan, former nazim and a candidate for PK-7 in the May 2013 general election announced joining the QWP along with scores of supporters. Sikander Sherpao said that all stakeholders would have to be on the same page for the restoration of peace. He said that the government should take immediate steps for bringing durable peace to the country and should not delay taking decisions in this connection.
He said the civilian government should be in the driving seat in the talks with the Taliban.

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