Pak army will not be part of govt peace committee to facilitate Taliban talks, official says

Islamabad, March 8: The Pakistan military will reportedly not join the new government peace committee, which is to be formed by the country’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to facilitate direct talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), officials said.

Following the critical corps commanders’ meeting at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday, a top security official said that in a democratic dispensation, civilian authorities should take the lead.

The official said that the army chief consulted his top commanders on whether the army should become a direct part of the government’s ongoing peace process with TTP, but the top commander concluded that there was no need for the army to hold face-to-face talks with TTP or their representatives.

According to the Express Tribune, the meeting chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was held against the backdrop of reports that the government is in the process of forming a new committee for talks with TTP and its affiliates.

The proposal to include the army in the peace process was jointly put forth by the government and the Taliban peace committees during their meeting with Sharif.

Meanwhile, an unnamed government committee member said that there is a general impression that the army is not onboard with the talks, adding that in order to dispel that impression, it was suggested that the prime minister include the army in the process. (ANI)