Talks with militants top priority: Nawaz Sharif

A resolution was passed by an All Parties Conference convened by Mr Sharif on Monday

September 09, 2013 07:30 pm | Updated June 02, 2016 10:43 am IST - Islamabad

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. File photo

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. File photo

Pakistan’s political parties on Monday asked the government to tackle a Taliban insurgency by initiating talks with “all stakeholders”, endorsing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s plans for a dialogue with militants.

“We...repose full confidence in efforts of the Prime Minister in this behalf and call upon the federal government to initiate the dialogue with all stakeholders forthwith...,” said a resolution passed by an All Parties Conference convened by Sharif.

The parties authorised the government to take “all necessary steps” for the proposed dialogue, including .

“development of an appropriate mechanism and identification of interlocutors”.

Shortly after he became Prime Minister in June, Mr Sharif said he favoured holding talks with the Taliban and other militant groups. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan withdrew an offer for talks after a US drone strike in the tribal belt killed its deputy chief Waliur Rehman Mehsud.

The conference was briefed by Mr Sharif, army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam on the security situation.

“I have suggested to political leaders that meaningful negotiations with militants should be our first priority...I don’t know where we will go from here if we fail to tackle terrorism,” Mr Sharif told the conference in comments beamed live on television.

The resolution said the proposed dialogue should be as inclusive as possible, with full participation of the government of militancy-hit Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and other stakeholders.

“Guiding principles should include respect for local customs and traditions, values and religious beliefs and the creation of an environment which brings peace and tranquillity to the region,” it said.

The resolution, however, made no mention of the Taliban or the violence perpetrated by militants that has claimed thousands of lives over the past six years.

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