PM’s adviser points out no solid headway from Taliban on peace talks

Siddiqui says govt facing public pressure on talks with militia

ISLAMABAD – Adviser to prime minister on Political Affairs Irfan Siddiqui has said that it will not be possible for the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to continue peace talks if Taliban leadership makes no immediate and solid headway on this count.

Talking to BBC here on Wednesday, the adviser said that the government was facing public pressure on the matter of holding talks with the Taliban. “Prolonging talks meant for peace is not a good omen even for talks process,” he said. “We had made it clear at the start of the process that efforts will be made to take these negotiations to logic end as soon possible,” he said.

“We must know that this sensitive process (of peace talks) cannot be continued for indefinite period,” the adviser said. About prevailing impression of tension between government and the army, he said this was only a pre-assumption. Several meetings have taken place between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif during the last some weeks, he said.

“They (the prime minister and the army chief) have exchanged views on national matters in amicable atmosphere,” he said, adding that these direct meetings have eliminated the possibility of emergence of any misperception between these two leaders. He stated that certain elements and leaders were trying to launch movements on the back of this hypothesis.

Siddiqui also said that it was desire of the prime minister that media determines parameters of its freedom on its own and evolves such code of ethics that state organs never feel any necessity to move against the media in future. Attitude and stances being pursued by the different media houses were breaching privilege of their viewers and readers, he said.

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