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Taliban demand release of arrested men before talks

ISLAMABAD: Taliban talks committee has demanded release of arrested militant leaders before beginning of the formal talks with the government, ARY News reported on Saturday. 

The committees of Taliban and government held a joint meeting in Islamabad today, which was also attended by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, who has been the focal person of the government for dialogue. 

Taliban negotiators submitted the demands of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to the government committee. The demands also included release of the arrested leaders of the outlawed Taliban group. 

The joint meeting was convened today to decide about the time and venue of the dialogue. 

The government committee wants to hold direct talks with Taliban in Mardan. Taliban, however, proposed Makeen area in Waziristan tribal region for talks. 

Taliban committee has submitted their demands including release of the arrested Taliban leaders before formal beginning of the talks. 

Maulana Samiul Haq, key interlocutor from Taliban, has said in a statement that the militant group has accepted several demands of the government and has denied any deadlock in the dialogue process.

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