The Pakistan government is silent on the killing of Haqqani Network leader Naseeruddin Haqqani in Barakahu area of Islamabad on Sunday. In response to questions on Wednesday at the weekly media briefing, ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said it was an internal matter and referred it to the ministry of interior which is equally tightlipped on the matter.
To questions on whether Haqqani was a conduit between the government and the Taliban, Mr. Chaudhry did not comment. Even before Haqqani’s killing, Minister for interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan declared in the National Assembly on Monday that the talks with TTP had broken down and till the drone strikes continued there was no point in a dialogue. He said the killing of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was a serious setback and now the government would have to pick up the pieces.
The new TTP leader Fazlullah is categorical about not going for any peace talks with the government. When asked to clarify about the whereabouts of Fazlullah and if he is in Afghanistan or Pakistan , Mr. Chaudhry said he did not have any update regarding this matter. He said that there was no contact with the Afghanistan government regarding the whereabouts of Fazlullah. As for reports about the presence of Pakistani militants in Afghanistan, he said the government had said many times that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used against Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Kabul was on the cards and the dates and an agenda were being worked out. The talks between the leaders of the two countries will focus on bilateral relations and the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, Mr. Chaudhry said.
To questions on Mullah Baradar, he said that the Taliban leader and some others were released at the request of Afghan government. Mullah Baradar is in Pakistan and he is free to contact his family members or anyone else to advance the peace process, he reiterated. He also denied that the Afghanistan government had approached Pakistan for a visit to meet Mullah Baradar.