ISLAMABAD: It would be beneficial for peace talks if new intermediary committees were made, chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Maulana Samiul Haq told media in Islamabad on Thursday.
Haq is also heading the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) intermediary committee.
The two peace talks committees met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad to discuss how to proceed with negotiations, Express News reported.
TTP intermediaries Haq, Professor Ibrahim and Maulana Yousuf Shah, all four members of the government committee as well as Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were present at the meeting.
According to sources, it was decided during the meeting that the number of committee members will be increased and stakeholders will be included in peace talks as well.
It was reported that a new government committee will be formed for peace negotiations.
The JUI-S chief stated that the meeting with the premier was constructive and PM Nawaz appreciated the efforts of both committees with regards to peace negotiations.
“Nawaz said that he will try not to conduct a military operation,” Haq stated.
Haq said his team was “satisfied with the round of talks this morning with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”.
“It was decided in the meeting that now the time has come to strengthen the committees and empower them more,” he added.
He further stated that now was the time to make decisions and hopefully matters will be resolved as the intermediary committees have opened the door for negotiations.
In response to a question, Haq added that a trip to Waziristan will be organised in a day or two.
He reiterated his stance against the “third force” saying that it should be identified and the government and the TTP should work together to unveil them.
Coordinator of the government committee Irfan Siddiqi, while talking to the media in Islamabad, stated that one of the government intermediaries will meet the TTP political shura (advisory council).
“The prime minister said that it is his constitutional, religious as well as humanitarian obligation to have peace in the country,” Siddiqi further stated.
He added that it was time to get results from the peace talks as they had entered the second stage, i.e. the decision making process.
“We have asked the prime minister to replace this committee with an effective forum,” he stated after the meeting.
“We believe that in the next phase, sensitive issues and demands will come up and we need to have a mechanism for direct contacts,” Siddiqi further said.
Rahimullah Yusufzai, another government negotiator, told AFP: “We have proposed that those who have authority to make decisions should be part of this committee. There should be representatives from the government and the military in the committee.”
Peace vs terrorism
In a statement issued by his office, the premier stated that Pakistan has paid the price for terrorism and the government will put an end to it.
Nawaz also said that safeguarding the lives of the citizens and peace in the country are top priorities of the government.
The prime minister further added that Pakistan will not prosper without peace in the country.
The statement said that Nawaz was committed to peace.
“As prime minister it is my constitutional, religious, national, moral and human duty to stop the continuation of fire and blood and give peace to the country and citizens,” it further stated.