Looking for peace: K-P makes plans for its own all-parties conference

The K-P government will chalk out its own line of action. PHOTO: AFP

The K-P government will chalk out its own line of action. PHOTO: AFP

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, PESHAWAR, 14th SEPTEMBER 2013: 

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has decided to convene its own all-parties conference (APC) as national consensus emerges on peace talks with the Taliban.

According to a handout issued by the provincial secretariat, the aim of the local APC is to come up with a durable solution on the issue of law and order.

In light of the APC organised by the centre and attended by all mainstream political parties earlier this week, the K-P government will chalk out its own line of action on how lasting peace can be achieved in the region.

Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak has asked the PTI central leadership, Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Jamaat-e-Islami minister Siraj ul Haq, Qaumi Watan Party’s Sikandar Sherpao and Awami Jamhori Ittehad leader and provincial minister Sheram Tarakai to shoulder responsibility of the meeting and contact all political parties of the province. The CM said all stakeholders should be consulted before the meeting is organised.

Besides the leadership of all political parties, civil society representatives and religious scholars will also be extended the invitation to attend the conference, the handout read.

Meanwhile, speaking to journalists after the assembly session, Information Minister Shah Farman said it has yet to be decided when the APC will be convened. He added talks are part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s manifesto and they have decided to hold an APC to create better understanding between all stakeholders in the province. “We have the mandate from the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the centre should accept our mandate.”

The information minister further said the federal government also wants a solution for conflict areas and wants to take provinces in the loop on issues of law and order.

The prime minister and the army chief discussed implementation of the APC resolution in a meeting last Wednesday.

The prime minister reportedly said that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman could be taken aboard as a facilitator to begin the talks. The army chief, however, noted that all prominent religious leaders should be consulted, particularly those having close contacts with the Taliban leadership.

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