Talks with Taliban only for durable peace in region: Iftikhar

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Saturday said that the government was ready to talk with Taliban only for the sake of durable peace in the region.

The provincial government has invited the Taliban with open heart for negotiations, he said and added that the Afghan Taliban were released as an exchange of prisoners between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mian Iftikhar was speaking at Wadudia Hall said Sharif on the occasion of death anniversaries of Bacha Khan and Wali Khan, after distributing cheques among the injured persons of Tableeghi Markaz.

He regretted that today mosques, Imam bargah’s, funeral places and  schools were not safe from the scourge of terrorism. He, however, hoped that the day was not far away when there would be complete peace in the region.

He claimed that the Awami National Party achieved success in the last elections after rendering great sacrifices for the cause of democracy and peace and hoped that the party would again win the next polls.

The minister said talks were the only way to establish peace that was why the KP government invited Taliban to the negotiation table. The negotiating team would be formed soon after consultation with the President, the Prime Minister and other stakeholders, he added.

Mian Iftikhar said that successful talks with Dr. Tahirul Qadri was the success of democracy. Elections will be held on time and no one will be allowed to sabotage the election process, he added.

He said the ANP was stuck to the philosophy of non-violence as envisioned by its late leader Bacha Khan and would never budge from rendering any sacrifice for the cause of establishing durable peace in the region.

During last five years, he said the ANP had achieved successes on many fronts and hoped that the party would be emerging victorious in next general elections.

Provincial Vice President ANP, Mian Said Laiq, Provincial Ministers Wajid Ali Khan and Ayub Khna and District President MPA Sher Shah Khan also spoke on the occasion.