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Pakistan PM wants MPs' opinion on Taliban talks

English.news.cn   2014-01-27 22:46:48

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Monday it is necessary to seek the opinion of members of the Parliament on dialogue with the Taliban insurgents who are blamed for attacks in the country.

The prime minister made the remarks at a meeting of Parliament members of his Pakistan Muslim League party in Islamabad to discuss security situation and other national issues, including the option on whether or not to launch a major offensive against the Taliban.

The meeting could not take a final decision as the members were divided on the Taliban talks, with the majority favoring an operation against the armed group while some insisting on dialogue.

"We are going through an extraordinary situation, and this situation demands tough decisions," the prime minister told the meeting.

The meeting was called following intensification of attacks by the Taliban in recent days as the government is under pressure to start operation against the militants in their last stronghold of North Waziristan.

"Without eliminating terrorism and extremism we cannot place Pakistan on fast track of development. We will take every step to bring peace and stability in country. Officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces laying down their lives are our heroes and their blood will not go in vain," a statement from the prime minister's office quoted Nawaz Sharif as telling the lawmakers.

Opposition members of the parliament also met in Islamabad on Monday and demanded the government to give a statement about policy on the Taliban in the Parliament.

Leader of the opposition, Khurshid Shah, told the meeting the prime minister should explain the government policy no matter it wants talks with or operation against the Taliban.

"If the prime minister did not come to the Parliament and take the MPs into confidence, it would amount to a non-serious approach to an important issue," he said.

The Taliban have repeatedly offered dialogue, but some government ministers have questioned the Taliban offer, saying that they on the one hand have continued attacks while on the other are seeking peace talks.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was quoted as saying that the government cannot trust the Taliban following their recent attacks which killed dozens of security personnel and civilians.

The National Assembly, or Lower House of the Parliament, started Monday evening to discuss the security situation and whether the government should pursue dialogue with the Taliban or launch an offensive.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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