ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday described the post drone attack situation, as gruesome as he urged continuation of peace process with the support and consultation of all political stakeholders.
“Situation is more gruesome than the point from where we had initiated peace efforts in September this year,” he said in a statement in National Assembly to initiate discussion on latest US drone attack in North Waziristan which killed Taliban chief Hakimullah Mahsud on Friday.
“But, we need to have consensus and proceed as success of dialogue will be success of all stakeholders,” he called upon the political leadership.
“Drone attacks are earning bad name for a nuclear power. United States is not caring for Pakistan’s protest and if peace process sabotages due to United States then onus will not be on the Government, the Armed Forces and the Taliban,” he added.
Dilating on the efforts during last seven weeks, the Interior Minister said,he came across many ups and downs as well as criticism but he remained on the course. “And it was the breakthrough that a delegation was ready for Waziristan to meet Taliban leadership when the US drone strike killed Hakimullah Mahsud.”
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the House that he was facing difficulties in initiating dialogue process in North Waziristan as 37 recognized Taliban groups were active under the umbrella of Taliban but did not follow their discipline.
Similarly, a total number of such groups was 50 to 70 with 14 to 16 among them active having 100 to 150 activists each, he added.
Nisar said the process was initiated in writing and on phone but after two weeks, the government has to change its direction and adopted track two. After efforts, when the situation matured, we decided to send a delegation of three renowned ulema, who also took responsibility.
But, just hours prior to their departure the US struck with a drone and killed Hakeemullah Mahsud, Nisar said.
The Interior Minister also mentioned attacks on General Niazi, Church, Qissa Khawani bazaar and on the bus. “But, we continued efforts and sent a message that until the killing of innocent people continues, dialogue process cannot generate the desired results. Then there was a respite and continued proceeding.”
He also appreciated the cooperation of the Armed Forces by `going extra miles and putting in extra efforts’ for success of the peace process.
Nisar said, the success achieved so far was a result of cooperation and consultation by all political players in the country. “I have been briefing the leaders and sought guidance from them occasionally. All of them extended full cooperation as they had done at APC.”
The minister said, he had also conveyed a clear message to the US ambassador by saying, “the US will have to take this government seriously. If our sovereignty is violated, there can be a stand off in relations.”
He said announcing for a military operation can be an easy option but the government has to take decision keeping in view other circumstances.
Nisar reiterated that national interest, honuor and prestige will be upheld during dialogue process will Taliban. “But, we need to stand united and move forward with consensus. We need to proceed positively and try to restart the process from the point where it had stalled.”