LAHORE: The chief of Pakistan's main opposition party on Thursday urged the government to immediately take result-oriented steps in response to an offer of peace talks by the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.
In a statement issued in Lahore, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said that the Pakistani Taliban's offer of peace talks should be taken seriously, and that the government should not waste any time in taking concrete steps in that direction.
In a video released earlier this month, the TTP had expressed its willingness to hold talks with the government on the condition that leaders of PML-N, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the Jamaat-i-Islami provide guarantees to make the exercise fruitful.
Earlier this week, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman welcomed the Taliban’s “positive” demands for peace talks, and recommended using the platform of the tribal areas’ grand jirga for peace negotiations with the outlaws.
In his statement today, Sharif, however, rejected the offer of acting as a guarantor. He said that his party supported the offer of dialogue by the militants, although, keeping in mind the current government’s track record, nobody could insure negotiations.
The PML-N chief added that war and violence was not the solution to any problem.
He urged the stakeholders to initiate talks with the militants in the greater interest of the country.