Wednesday, August 17, 2022

TTP talks: PPP mounts pressure on PM Shehbaz Sharif

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has mounted pressure on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to summon the meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) and an all parties conference (APC) regarding the talks with the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), ARY News reported on Sunday.

The coalition party of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) led government, PPP has strongly reacted to ongoing talks with the banned TTP without taking it into confidence.

Sources told ARY News that PPP expressed serious reservations over the secrecy on the progress of ongoing talks with the banned TTP. Following the PPP’s reservations, pressure has been mounted on PM Shehbaz Sharif to summon an NSC meeting and an APC for a briefing on TTP talks.

It was learnt that PM Sharif consulted the ministers to summon NSC or APC. It should be noted here that the coalition parties of the PML-N-led government expressed concerns over the secrecy being adopted for holding talks with the banned outfit.

Earlier in the day, PPP constituted a three-member committee to reach out to other political parties over recent developments in Pakistan’s talks with the TTP.

In a statement, the political party stated that it will raise the issue, jointly with other parties, in the Parliament.

The PPP special committee include Qamar Zaman Kaira, Senator Sherry Rehman and Farhatullah Babar, according to the statement.

On Saturday, PPP had decided to reach out to its allied parties to build a consensus on the way forward amid talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

A high-level meeting was held at Zardari House in Islamabad under the chairmanship of the party’s co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto.

Senior party leaders — Yousaf Raza Gillani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Murad Ali Shah, Sherry Rehman, Khursheed Shah, Faryal Talpur, Nayyer Bukhari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Manzoor, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Akhunzada Chattan, Nisar Khuhro and others — had attended the meeting.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the PPP said that the party had reiterated that all decisions must be taken by the parliament, and thus, the parliament must be taken on board.

On June 11, Bilawal Bhutto tweeted that PPP held a high-level meeting to discuss the issue of terrorism, particularly in light of recent developments in Afghanistan, with the TTA (Tehreek-i-Taliban Afghanistan) & TTP.

“PPP believes that all decisions must be taken by parliament. Will be reaching out to allied parties to create consensus on the way forward,” the foreign minister wrote on Twitter.

Last month, the government and the TTP had agreed to extend a ceasefire indefinitely and continue negotiations to find an end to the nearly two decades of militancy.

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