Pakistan: Opposition questions Imran Khan over talks with TTP

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Pakistan Peoples Party's Vice President Sherry Rehman (File Photo)
Pakistan Peoples Party's Vice President Sherry Rehman (File Photo)

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 2 (ANI): Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday for his statement in which he said the government was holding talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), terming the move similar to "sprinkling salt on the wounds of dead soldiers' families" and questioning Khan on why Pakistan's parliament was not taken into confidence over this 'sensitive issue'.

Earlier on Friday, Khan said that the government would "forgive [TTP members] and they would become normal citizens" if they lay down arms, Dawn reported.

Reacting to Khan's statement, PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman asked Khan whether he "asked the parliament what we think about that". She also questioned whether Khan had heard TTP's response to the government's offer.

PPP also called the government to clarify in the parliament the 'terms' under which the talks were being taken place with TTP.

PPP secretary general Nayyar Bokhari said that Khan's announcement about talks being held with TTP was a 'very sensitive statement' and also demanded that a session of parliament should be called immediately to discuss it, reported Dawn.

He further said, "statement of forgiving TTP [members] is akin to sprinkling salt on the wounds of dead soldiers' families."

He pointed out that parliament had been 'bypassed' and questioned, "Why were parliament and political parties kept uninformed about negotiations with the TTP?"

Earlier on Friday, Imran Khan had said that the government is in talks with some groups of the banned TTP with the aim of having them lay down their weapons and agree to adhere to the country's Constitution.

Further, Khan clarified that he is expecting a deal to come out of the talks but again nothing is certain. He sees dialogue as the only solution and is willing to 'forgive' the TTP if an agreement is reached.

Experts have cautioned Pakistan to tread carefully in the wake of recent developments in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover and asked Islamabad to avoid oversimplifying the Afghan issue.

Recently, TTP leader Mufti Wali Noor Mehsud, in an exclusive interview with Japanese media outlet Mainichi Shimbun, welcomed the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan and said that "we are hopeful for a strong relationship between the two of us".

Experts believe that the recent developments in Afghanistan have encouraged the TTP members and they want to realise Pashtuns' rule in Pakistan. (ANI)

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