ISLAMABAD, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that a government's dialogue committee is scheduled to travel to Waziristan tribal region Tuesday to begin direct talks with the Taliban.
Speaking to reporters in The Hague, the Netherlands, he said the government has started peace talks with sincerity and the process will enter in a new and important phase with the direct talks.
The prime minister is in The Hague to represent Pakistan in a two-day nuclear summit, starting on Monday.
He also welcomed the United States decision to halt drone strikes in Pakistan's territory in view of the ongoing talks between the Taliban and government.
Pakistan had strongly condemned the U.S. when its drone killed the Taliban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, in November that had derailed the peace talks with the militants.
The prime minister's comments came two days after the government and the Taliban's intermediaries agreed on a venue for the direct talks. Both sides have not disclosed the exact location for the talks over security reasons.
The government negotiators started peace talks with the Taliban intermediaries last month, which resulted in a month-long unilateral ceasefire by the Taliban.
In a positive response to the Taliban's ceasefire on March 1, security forces had also suspended airstrikes on the Taliban hideouts in Waziristan tribal region.
After the ceasefire, the government this month formed a high powered committee for the rare face-to-face dialogue with the Taliban leaders.