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March 20, 2014

PM to guarantee Taliban safety, says Sami

National

March 20, 2014

MULTAN: The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief, Maulana Samiul Haq, on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will give the guarantee that no harm will be caused to the members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Shura committee in case the direct talks take place in some government-controlled area. Talking to journalists at the Multan airport, he said a joint session meeting was going to be held on Thursday as the prime minister was determined for the success of the peace talks with the Taliban.
“The snow is melting. The Taliban are positive and the people around the country should not be disappointed over the present situation,” he said, adding, the Taliban showed flexibility by continuing the ceasefire and the situation was positive.
To a question, he said the venue for the government-Taliban talks could not be finalised as the Taliban had refused to meet at government buildings and airports. “It is hard for the government representatives to reachNorth Waziristan. The Taliban are consulting each other to decide a venue to meet with the government and continue the peace dialogue.
“There is no deadlock between the Taliban and government teams,” he said. To a query, Samiul Haq said the government was making efforts to interfere in the Madrassa network and restrict their activities, but it would not be tolerated at any level.
“The government interference in Madrassa affairs is not acceptable at any level. The Pakistan Security Ordinance is a too risky game. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has been told about the negative impacts of interference in Madaris,” he said.
Sami said he did not wish to put Nawaz Sharif into another ordeal. The Western media has been making false propaganda against the Madrassa network, he claimed and added the Ahrarul Hind was a fictitious organisation and he was with the government for the elimination of this group.
“If Maulana Fazlur Rehman considers other groups more powerful

than the TTP, he should talk to them in his own capacity,” he said and added the prime minister and interior minister were backing their efforts for peace and both the top leaders were with the JUI-S.
He said consequences of a military operation would be horrible, as all the ministers and advisers would flee the country to the UAE, leaving innocent masses to face the Taliban and their anger.
To a question, he said he had sincerely made efforts for the recovery of Ali Haider Gilani, but failed to recover him. “Former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani should ask his followers to avoid issuing sweeping statements.”
Our Peshawar Bureau adds: Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Peshawar, the Jamaat-e-Islami’s provincial president and a member of the Taliban negotiation committee for talks, Prof Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, said the process of direct talks between the government and the Taliban would commence soon.
“Both the sides should expedite the process. A delay in the process can harm the efforts for peace and the anti-talk elements can find an opportunity to sabotage the process,” he said.The JI leader said the time factor was immensely important for the success of the dialogue process. “The entire nation wants success of the talks between the government and the Taliban so that peace could be restored in the country,” he claimed.
He expressed his optimism that the talks process would succeed. “All important issues, including swap of prisoners, would be discussed once the direct talks are started between the government and the Taliban,” he added.
He said the Constitution of Pakistan was very much Islamic. He said they did not talk formally with the Taliban over the status of the Constitution. “However, we discussed the matter informally and informed them of their opinion about the Constitution,” he maintained.
Prof Ibrahim said the Taliban claimed that over 300 women, children and elderly people were under the detention of the security forces. However, the ISPR has been rejecting the claim as baseless. He refused to comment about the claims of both the sides on the non-combatant prisoners. However, he said the Taliban wanted a probe commission to be formed, which could visit the affected area and learn the actual facts.