The Pakistan government was decisively consulting all stakeholders, including security agencies, to heed afresh offer of a dialogue from Pakistani Taliban, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said today. "As the nation seemed to be forging unity on the issue of terrorism, they (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) once again showed willingness for dialogue. We will have to decide as how to move forward.
But for this, we should set aside our political motives and associations," he said in the National Assembly during a discussion on the country's law and order situation. The minister said since 9/11, the country faced around 2,000 terror incidents and that the political unity was a must to ensure success of any decision - dialogue or the military operation against the militants. Nisar said the government had established contacts with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and during the correspondence, the militant group proposed seven names for peace talks. He said even at that time, some of the Taliban factions opposed talks with TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud as, according to them, it could promote his profile but the government opted only to talk with the central leadership. Nisar said he was unsure whether Hakimullah took his leadership into confidence as they demanded to keep all developments secret. However, the process came to a halt after drone attack killed Hakimullah Mehsud, he said. However, he said newly elected TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah flatly refused to hold dialogue with the government blaming the US and Pakistan responsible for Hakimullah's death. Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan extended support to the government on countering terrorism but demanded to take all political forces into confidence. "I second the stance of Chaudhry Nisar. His sincerity to resolve the issue is above board. Terrorism has been swelling over last nine years and it is a complicated issue," he said in National Assembly in response to the Nisar's speech. He also assured no politicking on the issue but demanded that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should ensure leadership to the nation. "I can understand the hazards in talks as well as operation and this situation demands a true leadership," he said.