JI chief asks govt to resume talks with Taliban

Munawar HasanJamaat-i-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hasan has urged the government to make a formal announcement if it has decided to launch a military operation in North Waziristan. Addressing a press conference in Mansoora on Thursday, the JI chief said before going for the option of military operation Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should call a meeting of committees representing the government and the Taliban as well as the representatives of armed forces. “Only after hearing stances of the two committees he should take a decision,” he added. He said it should also be made clear whether the decision for the military operation was being taken by the government or by the army.

He termed both the committees powerless and appealed to the government and the Taliban not to depend on them, adding that they should hold talks with each other. “Talks even if failed for 100 times are better than an operation,” he said, adding that the government committee had no mandate to boycott the peace process on its own. Since the premier enjoyed all the power, he should immediately order for the resumption of talks with the Taliban after removing misunderstandings prevailing among members of both the committees, he said.

“Nawaz Sharif must come forward and resolve the issue, as powerless committees cannot do anything except giving suggestions. The premier should also know that an operation doesn’t target terrorists alone, but also kill innocent children, women and men,” he said. He said it would be illogical to expect that only the Taliban would announce a ceasefire. The prime minister should hear “grievances” of the Taliban before taking a decision for the military operation.