Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said people who want to shun the path of violence should be given a chance to return to normal life.
Fawad made these remarks to give context to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s earlier statement in which he revealed that the government was in talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Earlier, Prime Minister Imran said in an interview with TRT World that the negotiations were being conducted in Afghanistan, adding that dialogue was the only solution and the government would “forgive” the members if an agreement was reached.
In a video message on Saturday, the information minister said the state of Pakistan had gone through an enormous ordeal as it sacrificed thousands of lives in the war against terrorism.
“The country has defeated terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda in Pakistan and completely ended India’s conspiracies,” Fawad said.
“Now it is time to move forward. State policies are made in a specific background and situation.”
He said that about 3,000 people in Balochistan, who were a victim of Indian conspiracies, had now returned. Similarly, he added, there are individuals in various splinter groups of TTP who wanted to honour their pledge of allegiance to the country.
“The principle, which Prime Minister Imran Khan had put forth, is to bring back people, who were derailed, in the mainstream life in the purview of our Constitution and law,” the minister stressed.
THE PRIME MINISTER: Premier Imran had said that he was expecting a deal to come out of the talks but “again nothing is certain”.
Following the premier’s indication, the TTP announced a ceasefire, from October 1 to October 20. They also said that the ceasefire deadline could be extended if the negotiation process progressed successfully.
A tribal leader from North Waziristan said that the TTP had put forward three demands, including de-merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata); permission to commanders for carrying weapons and release of prisoners.
The tribal leader added that some of the conditions had been agreed upon.
According to sources, an 11-member TTP delegation was holding the talks with the government, while some “influential” Afghan Taliban leaders and other tribal elders were playing the role of mediator.