ISLAMABAD, March 1 (Xinhua) -- A Pakistani government committee, formed for peace talks with the Taliban militants, on Saturday welcomed ceasefire by the Taliban as a positive step that could revive the stalled dialogue process.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan's spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the group has declared a ceasefire for a month and the leadership has asked all the Taliban groups to respect the ceasefire and stop attacks.
He also urged the government to "give a positive response" to the Taliban decision to make progress in the fragile peace process.
The Taliban had earlier refused to stop attacks that had led to a deadlock in the peace talks started last month.
The Taliban announcement has raised hopes for restoration of the dialogue process.
Coordinator of the government peace committee Irfan Siddiqui said the Taliban announcement is a "breakthrough" in the seventeen- day dialogue process.
"We will wait for formal communication on the ceasefire from the TTP and review it objectively. Once a written document is received, the government Committee will consider resuming the dialogue process," Siddiqui told state radio in an interview.
He said the dialogue process was proceeding well but violent activities by the other side caused setback. "Therefore, it was felt that there will be no point in continuing the dialogue."
He expressed the hope that nothing will recur to derail the dialogue process again as series of the Taliban attacks and execution of 23 security personnel last month stalled the dialogue.
Member of Taliban dialogue committee, Professor Ibrahim, said all the Taliban groups would be bound to observe ceasefire.
"The Taliban ceasefire will help make dialogue process successful," Siddiqui said, adding both the committees played a pivotal role during dialogue and peace process in the country.
Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah also welcomed the announcement of ceasefire by outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.
A member of the gov't committee, Major (retired) Mohammad Aamir said that backdoor contacts with the Taliban paved the way for the ceasefire.
Aamir told Xinhua that he has suggested the state should now start direct talks with the Taliban as it is now time for decision making.
"We succeeded to encourage the Taliban to start dialogue and declare ceasefire and they have agreed," he said, adding that now the government should involve all the stakeholders to make the process successful.
Pakistan Taliban declare ceasefire for a month
ISLAMABAD, March 1 (Xinhua) -- As the Pakistani security forces mounted pressure on the Taliban militants with targeted air strikes on their hideouts, the Pakistani Taliban on Saturday announced ceasefire for a month and asked its activists to stop all attacks.
The Taliban spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, also urged the government to positively respond to the Taliban's ceasefire decision. Full story
Pakistani cabinet urges Taliban to stop attacks without conditions
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Federal Cabinet on Tuesday called on the Taliban militants to renounce terror activities without any pre-conditions.
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News Analysis: Taliban attacks, conditions halt peace dialogue in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- A series of attacks recently by the Taliban has put on hold the peace dialogue between the Pakistani government and intermediaries of the insurgent group that has started this month.
On Feb. 17, the Taliban brutally executed 23 Pakistani security personnel. A few days earlier, the Taliban bombed a police bus in Karachi, the southern commercial hub of the country, killing 13 soldiers and injuring 30 more. Full story