Religious scholars urge Taliban, Gov’t to declare ceasefire

Monday, September 30th, 2013 8:46:30 by

 Top religious scholars Monday launched an appeal to the armed Taliban militants and the government to declare ceasefire unless the proposed peace talks produce results.


The scholars, who belong to the country’s main Deobandi school of thought, warned that some elements are trying to sabotage the dialogue process between the Taliban and the government.


The government says it will hold talks with the Taliban following a parliamentary parties meeting unanimously called for peace talks with the Taliban to end the bloodshed.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told Pakistani reporters in London on Monday that he will devise a plan for the talks on his return to the country on Tuesday.


Both Taliban and the government sources have confirmed initial contacts through mediators, including tribal elders and religious scholars, however no formal talks have yet started.


Taliban have reported attached some conditions that could complicate the “hard to achieve” peace process as the government insists there should be no pre-condition.


The Taliban had called for the release of their prisoners and withdrawal of troops from the tribal regions, the conditions rejected by the Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani in a recent statement.  


As the process has yet to begin, the prominent religious scholars urged the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to declare ceasefire in the name of Allah Almighty and His Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).


A meeting of the scholars held with Maulana Salimullah Khan in the chair, on Monday, called upon both the parties to halt armed action until the outcome of peace negotiations.


“Pakistan is in a civil war like situation and many people have lost lives in the on going war. Some elements want to close the doors for the elusive peace. We appeal to both sides in the conflict to stop fighting and begin peace talks,” they said in a statement.


They expressed satisfaction on the decision by the government, military and Taliban about ending civil war through dialogues as bloodshed is not the solution of any issue.



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