Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan will not join an arbitration committee proposed by the banned Taliban for peace talks with the government, his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party said on Monday.
The party’s top decision-making body appreciated the trust reposed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Khan and said talks must begin soon. However, the party made it clear that Khan would not be part of the process.
“While Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf appreciates the trust reposed in its chairman, the Core Committee concluded the chairman cannot be a part of the five-member TTP-named arbitration committee,” the party said in a statement.
Both the Pakistan government and the TTP have formed committees for talks. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today signalled his determination to end terrorism through talks.
The Tehrik-e-Insaf sought a ceasefire from the military and the Taliban as well as a time-bound dialogue. It welcomed the formation of a 10-member Taliban committee for talks.
The party asked its government in the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province to facilitate the dialogue “in any way it can”, the statement said.
It said the party has always advocated dialogue for peace so that Pakistan’s prosperity and progress can be assured. It said it would support “all developments towards peace through dialogue within the parameters of the Constitution”.
The party reaffirmed its support for the government’s four-member committee for the talks. Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former ambassador, is part of this committee.