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Govt, Taliban committees to meet tomorrow

The government’s four-member committee and the Taliban’s five-member committee will meet to initiate the dialogue on Tuesday at 2pm.

TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan told Express News senior anchorperson Javed Chaudhry on Monday that a nine-member political shura (advisory council) will monitor peace talks.

Qari Shakil Ahmed Haqqani, a Taliban commander from Mohmand Agency, will lead the shura which consists of TTP spokesperson Azam Tariq, Maulana Amir Islam, Commander Ahmed, Anwar Gandapuri as well as their Quetta division leader known as Pir Sahab, Maulana Abdullah, Yasir and Commander Pashtun, he said.
Commenting on the four-member committee formed by the government, Ehsan said that just one, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, is part of the government. The TTP too have chosen a committee which does not have any Taliban as its members.

If the government decides to form a committee comprising mostly government members, the TTP will do accordingly – that is, constitutes a committee comprising mostly Taliban.

Ehsan said that the Taliban will wait to see what the five members appointed by them have to say about representing them, adding that if they did not agree to be a part of the committee, the Taliban will new names for it.

The four-member committee appointed by the government comprises Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, former ISI official Major (retd) Muhammad Amir, senior journalist Rahimullah Yousufzai as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader and former Pakistan ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand.

The five-member committee named by the TTP includes Jamaat-e-Islami leader Prof Mohammad Ibrahim, JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq, JUI-F politician Mufti Kifayatullah, Lal Masjid prayer leader Maulana Abdul Aziz and PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Press conference
Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, while talking to the media in Islamabad, said that the government wants to listen to the TTP and hear about their concerns.
He added that there are no conditions attached to the peace negotiations from either side.
The government is focusing on those groups who want to go ahead with the peace talks, Rashid further stated.

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