ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui said Wednesday that the Prime Minister has formed the committee for talks with militants with an open mind as the government wants fruitful and result-oriented talks without any preconditions.
Addressing a press conference here, Irfan Siddiqui said that the committee formed for holding talks with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was not a conventional committee, as three of its members have no link with the government and he himself became part of the present regime only two days ago.
The committee, he said, will start its work without any fear in mind and without attaching any `ifs’ and `buts’ to the talks process.
He said that by forming this committee the government has given another chance to peace. Irfan Siddiqui also said that the first step would be to establish contacts with the TTP by removing hurdles in the way of talks.
“When talks will start they will listen to our viewpoint and we will listen to theirs,” said the adviser.
Irfan Siddiqui said that it was satisfactory that all segments of society have welcomed the formation of the committee and no negative comment has been noticed from any quarter on its members.
Even TTP have termed it first serious effort from the government to hold talks with them. The government believes that previous efforts were also serious though they could not bear fruit due to various reasons.
Siddiqui was of the view that the TTP could also form a committee for holding talks with the government though this was not the demand of government.
He said the prime minister had referred to the recent wave of terrorist strikes in Bannu, Peshawar and Hangu, besides attacks on anti-polio workers, media, minorities and religious scholars and made it clear that terrorism had no place in Islam, which was a religion of peace and harmony.
Irfan Siddiqui said that the government wanted to give peace yet another chance but the acts of violence should stop.
The Adviser said that Prime Minister had been making serious efforts for the resolution of this issue even before coming to power and he remained in touch with the members of the committee formed today, when he was in the Opposition.
“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attaches top most priority to resolution of the issue of terrorism and there was wrong perception that he did not take the matter very seriously,” he added.
About the members of the committee, he said that its three members belonged to the most affected province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they were considered expert on the issue.