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No foreign pressure for Taliban talks: Pakistan

Monday, 10 February 2014 - 8:50am IST | Agency: IANS

Pakistan's national security adviser Sartaj Aziz said Sunday there is no foreign pressure on the country regarding talks with the Taliban militants. "There is no foreign pressure on Pakistan. However there is internal pressure on us to restore peace," Xinhua quoted Aziz as telling reporters Sunday in Islamabad.

Asked about the impression that there had been foreign pressure in the past that Pakistan should not opt for talks with the Taliban, he said: "There is no such pressure. We have held peace talks on several occasions."

He said the government started the dialogue process with the Taliban following a parliamentary conference last year which represented the mainstream political parties. "The conference had given a mandate to the government to adopt the policy of peace." "There is no other option unless we use this option," he went on to say.

Sartaj Aziz earlier told the conference that Taliban had " violated" several peace accords in the past. "The peace process is a complex issue because there were several agreements but they (Taliban) did not uphold them," he said, referring to the agreements in Swat valley and in South Waziristan tribal region. He said Pakistan had some internal issues threatening the society and that is why the government had adopted such policies over the past several months to address those issues. 

The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said, has chalked out a counter-terrorism strategy that also includes some measures in Karachi, introduced new laws, pursued political and military solutions.




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