Prime Minister-designate Nawaz Sharif,known for being soft towards militant groups,Monday said the Pakistani Talibans offer of talks should be taken seriously because the problem of militancy cannot be solved through the use of power and bullets.
Addressing newly-elected parliamentarians and legislators of his PML-N party at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal hall in Lahore,Sharif stressed the need to respond to the Talibans offer. Only guns and bullets are not the solution to a problem. Problems are always resolved by sitting at the table, he said.
We have lost many lives,our economy is deteriorating… Every option should be used. If the Pakistani Taliban offer a dialogue,it should be taken seriously. Why cant we talk to the Taliban to make our country peaceful? he said.
The PML-N chiefs remarks were a clear indication that his government intends to frame a new policy for the war against terrorism.
On Saturday,Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani held a three-hour-long meeting with Sharif and discussed security issues,including the campaign against militants.
During the meeting,Sharif conveyed his views on the ongoing war on terrorism and military operations against militants to Kayani,sources said.
Sharif,63,is set to become premier for an unprecedented third time following the PML-Ns victory in the May 11 general elections.
His detractors have long alleged that the PML-N is soft towards militant groups.
Earlier this year,the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban had offered peace talks to the previous Pakistan Peoples Party-led government and named Sharif as one of three politicians who could act as guarantors for the process.
The Taliban subsequently withdrew the offer,saying it had not been taken seriously.