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Pakistani Taliban Seek Time to Decide on Truce

Pakistani Taliban Seek Time to Decide on Truce

KABUL – Amid a nascent peace initiative, Pakistan militants have sought for more time to decide on a ceasefire with the government, a negotiator said on Sunday.MaulanaYousaf Shah, coordinator of the Taliban talks committee, told a private TV channel that the two sides would be able to agree soon on a truce.

Speaking to Express News, Shah hoped the ongoing dialogue would lead to peace in the country. However, he warned saboteurs should not be allowed to derail the process.Separately, leaders of 30 religious parties and groups opposed the use of force against the insurgents if peace talks between the government and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan fizzled out.

At a meeting chaired by the chief of the Taliban’s negotiating committee, MaulanaSamiulHaq, the clerics voiced their aversion to a military operation in case there was no breakthrough in the talks.SamiulHaq, reading a joint statement after the Ulema convention, said: “The government must not use force in case the peace talks fail. A ceasefire is a prerequisite to the success of the talks.”

A military operation would only lead to further destruction, according to the statement that says: “The Ulema belonging to all schools of thought fully support the peace dialogue and appeal to both parties to exercise restraint…” (PAN)

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