ISLAMABAD, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- An influential Pakistani cleric Friday said he would not take part in peace talks with the government on behalf of the Taliban unless the talks are held on the basis of Islamic Sharia.
Maulana Abdul Aziz, prayers leader of the Islamabad's "Red Mosque" and a member of the three-member team the Taliban had nominated for talks with the government's negotiators, said the peace talks could be delayed because the government wants the talks within the limits of the Constitution but the Taliban believe only in "Islamic Sharia."
"I will not quit the Taliban committee but will only take part in the dialogue process unless the government agrees to my demand that Islamic Sharia would be the base for our talks," Maulana Aziz told a news conference in his mosque. He said the Taliban do not accept the Constitution and how can the government insists the talks should only be held under the parameters of the Constitution.
The Taliban had earlier nominated five senior political and religious leaders for mediation with a government's committee but later gave a go ahead to the three members after two parted ways before the beginning of the talks.
The Taliban and government committees met for the first time in Islamabad on Thursday and both sides agreed to ask the Taliban and the security forces to avoid such action that could harm the peace process. They had also agreed to talk within the parameters of the Pakistani constitution.
Maulvi Aziz said the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had constituted their team of mediators with good intentions but the government's demand to hold negotiation within the parameters of the Constitution will only delay the process.
"The peace process can move forward only if it is according to the Quran and Sunnah," the cleric said. He demanded the government should implement Islamic system in the country.
The cleric said he considers the Constitution and the country' s judicial system as "contrary to Islam."
"The Taliban demand enforcement of Islamic system so how can we ignore their demand," Maulvi Aziz questioned.
The Taliban committee had planned to travel to Waziristan tribal region to share details of their first meeting with the government's negotiators.
Senior political leader, Imran Khan, who had refused to join the Taliban negotiators, Friday pointed out that all those who kept harping on how TTP terror was related to a demand for imposition of Shariah stand totally exposed as the TTP agree to talk within the parameters of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Khan concluded as he expressed the hope that the dialogue process moves forward and peace comes to Pakistan with an end to bloodshed and hatred.