ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said on Saturday that high-level talks are underway with some Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) groups seeking reconciliation.
Speaking to the media, the Interior Minister ruled out the need for taking opposition parties into confidence on the move. “There is no need to take the opposition into confidence as they [opposition leaders] are themselves thieves,” he said.
Sheikh Rasheed clarified that groups and members involved in terrorist activities will not be granted amnesty, adding that “it is irrational to fight those who have laid down their arms.”
The case of the terrorists involved in the Army Public School (APS) carnage is also different, the interior minister maintained. “We know who is good and who is bad,” he said.
The reaction came after Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his government was holding disarmament talks with some factions of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
In an exclusive interview with TRT World, the premier said, “I think some Taliban factions want to talk to the government for peace and reconciliation and we are in contact with them.” “I am not in favor of a military solution to the issues and also hopeful of an agreement, however, talks with the Taliban may not be fruitful, but we are talking,” he added.
To a question about Afghan Taliban helping in dialogues, the premier said, “In the sense that the talks are taking place in Afghanistan. However, nothing could be said on the success of the talks at this time.” He said dialogues are about reconciliation process and if successful, will lead to the government “forgiving” them, “and then they become normal citizens”.
The prime minister said there was complete shock and confusion in US after its troops’ pullout and swift march of Taliban. He particularly referred to the recent debate on Afghan debacle in the US Senate as the Taliban returned to power after twenty years.
The Afghan army collapsed and that was what completely surprised the US quarters, he said, adding if Taliban government collapsed, the biggest losers would be the people of Afghanistan. “They must come up for solution and think about the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
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