Sharif offers olive branch to Taliban
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, addressing a session of the National Assembly in Islamabad after a span of six months, said the government wanted to give peace a fair chance.
Advisor on National Affairs Irfan Siddique, journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai, former ambassador Rustam Shah Mohmand and ex-ISI official Maj. (R) Amir Shah were nominated for talks with the insurgents.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would assist the committee, Sharif said, urging the fighters to declare a ceasefire. He will personally supervise the performance of the committee.
The entire nation, including state institutions, would stand united if the government decides to react to terrorism with full force, he said. “Since the other side has shown intent to negotiate, we also wish to give peace yet another chance.”
Shahid said the Taliban have convened a meeting of the Shura (council) to “assess the committee formed by the federal government for peace talks.”
Meanwhile, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has welcomed the offer of peace talks from the government. Its spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told local media outlets a final decision regarding talks would be taken by their shura.
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