ISLAMABAD – The negotiator on behalf of outlawed militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Maulana Yousuf Shah, claimed that a ‘green signal’ from Pakistan Army was required to hold meeting with Taliban leaders at the mutually agreed location.
Yousuf, representative of Jamiyat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S), claimed with authority that government-backed committee and nominated negotiators of Taliban had agreed upon the location where both sides would meet to hold direct talks with militant group. However, Pakistan Army’s green signal was awaited as Taliban leaders feared of being arrested.
Same speculations have been made from past one week over the location of direct talks with outlawed Taliban leadership. The chief negotiator Maulana Samiul Haq told British news media outlet that Taliban had demanded free zone for their movement. Taliban asked Pakistan Army to withdraw troops from South Waziristan agency of Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) so that they can meet the negotiation committees there.
Moreover, another Taliban’s negotiator Professor clearly mentioned that though the dialogue process would not be stopped even if government officials deny the demand of Taliban to withdraw troops from South Waziristan and releasing the non-combatant prisoners. However, he also also maintained that the Taliban wanted to hold talks outside of North Waziristan and the government committee should decide on a location soon.
It was reported on national media that government-backed and Taliban-nominated committees convened talks on Saturday to finalize arrangements. Later both committees met the Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during which time and place of the proposed direct talks with the militant group was discussed.
Its worth mentioning here that few days back, Federal Information Minister Pervez Rasheed told media that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are not supervising Taliban Talks.