Pakistan PM Vows to Continue Taliban Talks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Pakistan reiterated the government's commitment to a dialogue-first approach to the violence, while clarifying that "terrorisim and dialogue cannot go together."
In an address to the National Assembly on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the formation of a four-member committee of non-parliamentarians to initiate dialogue between the government and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
He did not give a timescale or outline the mandate of the committee.
"I am trying to do this in the spirit of unity and hope we will move forward in that spirit (with other parties)," he said. "This game of fire and explosives must end now."
Sharif's government has been under fire for failing to make a strong response to the upsurge in violence, particularly against military personnel, Al Jazeera reported.
Responding to the formation of the committee, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid told Al Jazeera that a Taliban leadership meeting would be convened in the coming days at an undisclosed location to discuss the offer.
He said that there was "no rift" between the Taliban's leadership and that the group was united under new chief Mullah Fazlullah.
The TTP also claimed responsibility for deadly attacks earlier on Wednesday on security forces in the southern city of Karachi.
Three members of the paramilitary Rangers were killed in separate attacks in Karachi, Pakistan police said.
Senior police officer Amir Farooqi said attackers threw a grenade at a vehicle carrying Rangers in the Nazimabad neighbourhood, killing one of them.