Govt, Taliban negotiators fail to meet


ISLAMABAD: Government negotiators and the Maulana Samiul Haq-led committee could not meet face-to-face on Saturday due the ‘hectic’ schedule of the interior minister. 
A Taliban intermediary committee member confirmed that the meeting was postponed only due to some ‘important engagement’ of Chaudhry Nisar. A senior official at the Interior Ministry told Daily Times on Saturday that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar assured the Taliban committee that he would discuss their demands of releasing about 300 non-combatants with Nawaz Sharif and the army chief.
Samiul Haq has reportedly assured the government that the Taliban wanted to pursue negotiations in a ‘positive direction’, and that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had reservations that government was not positively responding to its demands. Both sides accuse each other of dithering on the promises they made in multiple rounds of talks, including a meeting in North Waziristan Agency where the government committee met the TTP leadership. It is further learnt that Chaudhry Nisar would meet the members of the Taliban negotiating committee today or tomorrow. The TTP has refused to extend the ceasefire but kept the doors of dialogue open. Official sources said that after getting an input from the Cabinet Committee on National Security and on the directives of Nawaz Sharif, the government had decided to hold consultation with the three-member Taliban committee on the possibility of taking the ‘end-of-war process’ forward. 

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