Zee Media Bureau
London/Islamabad: Reiterating his claims of peace talks with Taliban, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday urged the insurgent group to shed violence and take part in the political reconciliation process aimed at ending the 12-year conflict in Afghanistan and to bring back peace in Pakistan.
"Join peace talks with Pak government and become part of the political process," Nawaz Sharif said during a TV interview in London ahead of a scheduled meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, to be hosted Wednesday by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Sharif reached London on an official visit yesterday. During the interview he said further that Pak government wants peace in the country and is also serious about the negotiations.
He said he had tasked Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to pursue talks with the Taliban, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Sharif "called upon the Taliban to join the peace process and become part of the political process", the report said.
On October 26, Sharif had directed Interior Minister Khan to brief all political parties on the progress in the dialogue with the Taliban.
The premier had said that all parties had mandated his government through the All-Parties Conference to hold talks with the militants. The representatives of different political parties should feel part of this process, he said.
The issue of talks with the Taliban also came up when Sharif met US President Barack Obama in Washington last month.
While all parties are in agreement on the talks, no concrete steps have been taken as yet, according to reports. The government of the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has expressed its disappointment over the delay and said it might hold talks with the Taliban directly.
With PTI inputs