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HomeNationalGovt-TTP talks draw mixed reactions from religious parties

Govt-TTP talks draw mixed reactions from religious parties

JUI-S chief Hamidul Haq, Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani mediators in talks between govt and militant alliance

Religious parties have shown mixed reactions to the government’s move to grant amnesty to the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that a complete ceasefire had been reached between the government and the TTP. The tentative truce, he added, would be extendable, keeping in view the progress of negotiations.

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“We reject negotiations with the killers,” said Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza. The head of the SIC, a conglomerate of Barelvi/Sunni parties and heads of different shrines, believed any amnesty to the Taliban would be tantamount to betraying sacrifices and blood of innocent Pakistanis.

Pir of Manki Sharif Pirzada Muhammad Amin, in a statement, also declared the government negotiations with the banned alliance as against the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan. Both clerics declared TTP as a dissident to Pakistan and Islam.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan leader Qari Zawar Bahadur said the government was trying to deface the country, adding that the amnesty should not be granted to killers of children.

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Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) spokesperson Noorullah Siddiqui said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) should take all stakeholders on board before they made any decisions to pardon the militants. The agreements with the TTP had been signed in the past but failed to be fruitful, he said, adding that PAT was in favour of a comprehensive debate among political parties, parliament, institutions prior to holding dialogue with the banned organization.

Opposing the talks, Shia Ulema Council President Allama Syed Sibtain Sabzwari said the government must listen to the people of Pakistan before granting a pardon to militants. Leading Shia cleric Allama Syed Jawad Naqvi was also not in favour of negotiations and said the government was disappointing the people.

On the other side, Jamaat-e-Islami was tight-lipped and avoided taking any stance on the undergoing negotiations between the two sides. Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Markazi Jamiat Ahlehadith of Professor Sajid Mir, Jamiat Ahledaith of Ibtisam Elahi and some other organizations belonging to both schools of thought, opted to stay silent when approached for comments on the development.

The government, meanwhile, claimed the dialogue with the TTP was being held strictly in line with the constitution and the law of the country.

A source told Minute Mirror that the head of Sami-ul-Haq faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Hamidul Haq Haqqani and Afghanistan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani were acting as mediators between the government and the outlawed militant alliance in negotiations that were underway in Afghanistan.

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