Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today asked the Pakistani Taliban to join peace talks with his government and "become part of the political process".
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.
Sharif "called upon the Taliban to join the peace process and become part of the political process", the report said. On October 26, Sharif had directed Interior Minister Khan 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 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.
Updated Date: Oct 29, 2013 18:52 PM