Pak govt should hold talks with Taliban: Nawaz
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Lahore, July 4: Pakistan government should hold negotiations with the Taliban as part of efforts to tackle terrorism as even the US has indicated its willingness to talk to militants, top opposition leader and former premier Nawaz Sharif has said.
“If Washington says it is prepared to talk to the Taliban who are willing to listen, then a similar initiative should also come from Islamabad. We should not only see what decision they (the Western countries) will make about our fate. We should decide our own fate,” said Sharif, the chief of main opposition PML-N.
“We have this problem at home. Why don’t we take initiatives? Why should we wait for others’ initiatives?” he told a news conference at his home here last evening.
Asked about failed peace attempts in the past, Sharif, a two-time former premier, said: “Peace is the priority and for that, ways can be found.”
His comments came two days after a pair of suicide bombers struck the Data Darbar sufi shrine here, killing 45 people and injuring over 200 others. There is considerable pressure on the PML-N-led government in Punjab to crack down on militants based in the southern part of the province.
The PML-N is perceived as being soft on pro-Taliban militants and provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah openly campaigned with leaders of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba group during by-polls in Punjab earlier this year.
However, Sharif dispelled the impression that the PML-N is soft on or has links with militants, saying there would not have been terrorist attacks in Lahore and other parts of Punjab if this were true.
He said there was no safe haven for the Taliban in southern Punjab. “It is our duty to eliminate terrorism wherever it is breeding. But we have no evidence of terrorists being present in southern Punjab. We do not see them there,” he said.
The PML-N chief also said he was opposed to the use of the term “Punjabi Taliban” to refer to militants operating in the province. “Terrorists are just terrorists and have no boundaries and territories,” he said.
Sharif claimed that terrorism plaguing Pakistan is a result of policies made by federal governments in the past and that the current Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition at the centre has not been able to find remedies.
The federal government could have turned to Parliament and politicians for initiatives to be launched to tackle terrorism instead of waiting for directives from Washington, London and other Western capitals, he said.
The government should consult other stakeholders, including foreign countries concerned about the regional security situation and remove their concerns but “it must take its own initiatives”, Sharif said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 4 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM SOUTH ASIA
JK govt, Centre at loggerheads
‘PARLIAMENT HAS NO AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT LAWS WITHOUT CONCURRENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURE’
SAMAAN LATEEF Srinagar, July 4: The state government has challenged the implementation of Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (SRFAESIA), 2002 More
- Srinagar City
WE THE Srinagarites
GK NEWS NETWORK
A prestigious project on inland water transport for Srinagar City is gathering dust since February 1999. Eleven years ago, the project report was prepared but since then it rests in the shelves More
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, July 4: A group of 213 Hindu pilgrims from Pakistan paid obeisance at the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Trikuta hills in Reasi district, official sources said here today. They said that the group More
- South Asia
REZAUL H LASKAR
Islamabad, July 4: The Taliban will soon launch their own "media regulatory authority" to monitor press and TV reports to prevent"false" statements about Islam, a militant spokesman said today, warning More
Srinagar, July 4: With tourist arrivals coming down sharply to the Valley, the airfares, sky high a week ago, have nosedived on the route. People associated with aviation industry said even as the More
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Beijing, July 4: India and China today discussed the possibility of working in collaborative projects in third countries, including joint initiatives in Afghanistan to tap large mineral resources, as part More