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Pakistan government-Taliban peace talks begin

Thursday, 6 February 2014 - 5:42pm IST | Agency: IANS

Peace talks between the Pakistan government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) formally kicked off Thursday with the first phase being held at a secret location.

The government negotiators include Irfan Siddiqui, adviser to the prime minister and coordinator of the committee, Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former diplomat, Rahimullah Yousufzai, senior journalist and Amir Khan, a former ISI official, reported Dawn online.

The members of the government and Taliban committees have been blaming each other for the delay in commencement of the dialogue which was earlier scheduled for Tuesday.

Earlier Maulana Abdul Aziz, Taliban team member, said the two committees negotiating a peace pact were scheduled to meet after 2 p.m. Thursday and would discuss preliminary parameters for the talks.

The TTP committee comprises Maulana Samiul Haq, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Maulana Abdul Aziz, chief cleric of Lal Masjid in Islamabad and Mohammad Ibrahim, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

The TTP ealier named a five-member team but two members -- Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam's leader Mufti Kifayatullah and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan -- declined to be part of the committee.

The four-member government committee had sought some clarifications about the powers of the Taliban team which led to confusion and the talks got delayed.


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