Taliban attacks setback for peace talks: Sharif

Islamabad, Feb 15: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Saturday described Pakistani Taliban’s recent attacks as a serious setback for the ongoing peace talks between the militant group and the government.

“These attacks were sad and should have not occurred as we view such acts as a serious setback for the peace process,” Xinhua quoted Sharif as saing on board his special plane while returning from visit to Turkey.

“I am seriously concerned at the terror attacks during the ongoing peace dialogue,” he said.”It is my desire that no more innocent people loose their lives in terrorism.”

Sharif’s comments came two days after a deadly bomb attack on a police bus in the port city of Karachi killed 13 police officers and injured dozens. Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack avenged Taliban members killed in Karachi and other cities in recent days by the police and paramilitary troops, Taliban spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said.

Sharif said his government has started the dialogue with sincerity and formed a negotiating committee to take the process forward. He also hailed formation of a team of mediators by the Taliban but stressed that the bloodshed should be stopped.

Sharif, however, defended dialogue with the Taliban to seek political solution to the conflict.

IANS