Sharif offers dialogue to end terrorism across Pakistan
Iran Press TV
Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:39PM GMT
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says the option of dialogue with pro-Taliban militant groups should be kept open to end terrorism across the violence-wracked country.
“The window of dialogue should be kept open all the time,” Sharif told a gathering of members of parliament from the militants-infested tribal regions on Wednesday.
He described terrorism as the most serious challenge plaguing Pakistan.
“We have no option except vigorously pursuing a well-planned and coordinated strategy to find a meaningful solution to the problem of terrorism,” the premier added.
Sharif has been an advocate of peace talks with Taliban militants since his election campaign which ended in his May victory.
Earlier in the day, a Taliban spokesman was quoted as saying that the militants might agree on a truce if Sharif and his party showed seriousness in holding the peace talks.
However Pro-Taliban militants last month withdrew their peace talks offer to the new government after a US terror drone killed their deputy chief, Wali-ur-Rahman Mehsud.
Militants have carried out numerous attacks against security forces as well as civilians and managed to spread their influence in various regions of the country, despite frequent offensives by the Pakistani Army.
Pakistani security forces have launched several operations in the troubled northwest in a bid to flush out militants from its tribal zone.
Despite the Pakistani government's operations against Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants and associated groups, they have been able to spread their influence in various regions of the country and kill thousands of people.
Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001 when Pakistan entered an alliance with the US on the so-called war on terror, according to local media.
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