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PML-N says on same page with army on talks with militants

Taliban had demanded the release of detained militants,military units leave tribal regions.

Written by PTI | Islamabad |
November 1, 2013 4:13:20 pm

Pakistan’s ruling PML-N party on Friday said it was “on the same page” with the opposition and the army on the issue of holding talks with militants.

A day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said dialogue with the Taliban “has started”,Information Minister Pervez Rashid said consensus will be developed as the talks progress.

“Discussions with the Taliban are in progress. The government is doing its utmost to establish peace in the region which is crucial for the country’s economic prosperity,” he told reporters outside parliament.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday the government was in contact with the Taliban and would “soon start structured and formal” talks with them in line with a decision taken by an All-Parties Conference on September 9.

He gave no details about who was carrying out the talks and what was being discussed.

Sharif had also said that his government “could not wait and see the innocent people and members of law enforcement agencies being killed in the streets of Pakistan”.

He was elected in part for promising to negotiate with militants in the northwest who have killed thousands of civilians and security personnel.

The issue of talks with the Taliban had also come up when Sharif met US President Barack Obama in Washington last month.

The Taliban had earlier demanded that the government should release all detained militants and that military units should leave the northwestern tribal regions. They also called for an end to US drone strikes.

Meanwhile,Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has threatened to block NATO supplies to Afghanistan if the US launches any drone strikes during the talks with the Taliban.

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