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November 2, 2013

US has sabotaged peace talks, says Nisar

November 2, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday said the latest US drone strike was an attempt to sabotage the dialogue process between the government and Taliban.
Talking to The News, Nisar said this drone strike had hit a high-profile TTP leader a day before a three-member team of independent facilitators was all set to go to North Waziristan to formally convey the government’s offer for initiation of peace dialogue.
The scheduled visit of the team of independent negotiators has now been postponed.
According to the interior minister, the team was to proceed to the NWA on Saturday following the understanding of the government as well as militant groups, including the TTP.
Nisar said he had already taken Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah, PTI chief Imran Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan and some other leaders into confidence.
The interior minister sounded extremely upset at this and indicated that he would soon address a press conference to express his anger at what Washington had done at this stage when the government-Taliban dialogue process was about to kick off formally.
There are indications that the government and opposition, particularly Imran Khan’s PTI, would consider some major policy shift vis-a-vis Washington, as the latest drone strike is seen to have hit the peace process, which had a unanimous endorsement of the entire political leadership.
The three-member team of independent facilitators/negotiators, enjoying the confidence of both the government and militant groups, was to fly to North Waziristan to contact different militant groups, including the TTP’s Hakimullah Mehsud.
According to an official source, during his recent interaction with the US president the prime minister was assured by Washington that the drone operation would not be carried out during the dialogue process between the government and militant groups, including the TTP.
In his

reaction to the latest drone strike in the North Waziristan Agency killing the TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, a visibly perturbed PTI chairman Imran Khan on Friday told a private TV channel that the US had launched drone attacks whenever the government and Taliban reach an understanding to resume dialogue for peace and stability in the country.
He said the US killed TTP leaders Naik Muhammad, Waliur Rehman and now Hakimullah Mehsud to vitiate the environment for the peace process and PML-N government and the opposition together will have to chalk out a well-thought-out strategy to deal with this situation.
To a question, Imran Khan said the federal government will have to seriously think about blocking the Nato supplies.

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