Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in London on an official visit, said his Government wants peace in Pakistan and the region.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday asked the Pakistani Taliban to join peace talks with his Government and “become part of the political process“.

Mr. Sharif, in London on an official visit, said his Government wants peace in Pakistan and the region.

In an interview with a TV channel in London, he said his Government is serious about the negotiations. He said he had tasked Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to pursue talks with the Taliban, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

Mr. Sharif “called upon the Taliban to join the peace process and become part of the political process”, the report said.

On October 26, Mr. Sharif had directed the Interior Minister to brief all political parties on the progress in the dialogue with the Taliban.

The premier had said that all parties had mandated his Government through the All-Parties Conference to hold talks with the militants. The representatives of different political parties should feel part of this process, he said.

The issue of talks with the Taliban also came up when Mr. Sharif met US President Barack Obama in Washington last month.

While all parties are in agreement on the talks, no concrete steps have been taken as yet, according to reports.

The Government of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has expressed its disappointment over the delay and said it might hold talks with the Taliban directly.