ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that a durable and permanent peace was the top priority of the government for which all-out efforts would be continued.
The prime minister stated this while talking to members of the government’s negotiating committee, which called on him at the Prime Minister’s House. The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (r) Mohammad Amir, Rustum Shah Mohmand and Rahimullah Yusufzai. Earlier, a meeting of the government negotiating committee was held. The committee reviewed Taliban’s ceasefire announcement and attacks in Khyber Agency and Islamabad.
The committee said that the continuation of such kinds of incidents would damage the negotiating process. Members of the committee later called on the prime minister and presented him their proposals for an effective future strategy. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the government negotiating committee to continue consultations, saying that efforts should be result-oriented. Talking to the members of government dialogue committee, he said efforts would be made at every level for the realisation of this objective.
The prime minister said that establishment of peace and stability is the first priority of the government. The committee submitted recommendations to the prime minister to resume the dialogue process. It was decided that a meeting with the committee nominated by the Taliban will be held in the next few days. Participants of the meeting agreed that attacks such as the one on a court in Islamabad are harmful for the dialogue process.
Prime Minister Nawaz said all-efforts should be made for permanent peace. The meeting was held to deliberate on the Taliban’s announcement of a month-long cease-fire and the future course of action regarding the dialogue process. Earlier, the government negotiating committee met in Islamabad to review the attacks in Islamabad and Khyber Agency following announcement of ceasefire by the outlawed TTP.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Taliban have announced a month-long ceasefire after PAF jets and gunship helicopters conducted surgical strikes against militant hideouts in the tribal areas. The strikes were carried out after 23 FC personnel were killed by the TTP despite the ongoing peace talks. Following the Taliban’s announcement, the government stopped the strikes. In a statement issued by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan the decision was taken after consultations with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif.
Responding to the audacious terrorist attack at an Islamabad court, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday claimed that efforts are being made to undermine the government’s efforts for peace. The prime minister’s comments came after he chaired a high level meeting which focused on matters of national security and the Taliban’s announcement of a month-long ceasefire as well as Monday’s attack in Islamabad. The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt Gen Zaheeurl Islam, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.
A bomb Monday killed at least two paramilitary troops and wounded six others in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, officials said. The incident happened in Sadokhel area of Khyber tribal region where Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam militant groups are active. “An improvised explosive device planted along the roadside went off as two vehicles of paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) passed by, killing two soldiers and wounding six others,” senior local administration official Muhammad Tayyab Ali told AFP. He said the blast destroyed one of the vehicles. A local intelligence official also confirmed the incident and casualties. The incident occurred just two days after the Pakistani Taliban announced a month-long ceasefire aimed at resuming peace talks with the government. Dialogue between Islamabad and the TTP that began last month was suspended after the militants killed 23 soldiers.
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