THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, ISLAMABAD, 10th SEPTEMBER 2013:
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), on Monday, welcomed as a ‘positive development’ a unanimous resolution adopted by the All Parties Conference (APC.)
The TTP spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, cautiously welcomed the APC resolution and said Taliban would be willing to enter into ‘meaningful dialogue’ after the government announces its policy on how to proceed.
“We welcome the unanimous resolution passed by the APC and will be positive in our response. We consider it is a good omen,” he told the media via phone.
“Unanimous stance of all the stakeholders in today’s APC Statement is a positive sign but the government will have to take more sincere steps,” the TTP Political Commission member, Ehsanullah Ehsan told The Express Tribune by phone.
“The government will also have to convince the army and to decide a road-map for the talks,” he added.
Ehsan also posted a statement on his Facebook page which read, “Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) could play a serious role in the proposed dialogue.”
He said and the decisions to be taken should not be only on a piece of paper but should be implemented.
The central leadership of the TTP claimed on Monday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sent a letter to the TTP about a possible peace dialogue and the TTP has replied to it.
Whereas the correspondence has been confirmed, the contents of both the letters are yet to be known.
“I would not disclose contents of both letters as the contacts are at very early stage,” the leader, who is part of the Taliban’s Political Commission, confirmed to The Express Tribuneby the phone.
Not showing its cards, the TTP leader further said that the latter would only announce their negotiations team once the government has finalised its interlocutors.
“We will also propose some members from different sections of the society to be part of the mediations, including media persons to monitor the possible negotiation process,” the TTP leader suggested.
Judging on face value, such comments from the TTP- which is itself ridden in differences over the issue of dialogue with the authorities if media reports are to be believed- are welcoming.
When asked the TTP leader, however, contradicted news of differences between the Pakistan Taliban and disregarded media reports as mere exaggerations. He claimed that the media is drawing a long bow and the fissures are not so wide to pose a threat to the possibility of dialogue with the government’s representatives.