It’s now JUI’s turn to convene APC
PESHAWAR, Feb 21: After Awami National Party, it is now Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl to convene an all parties conference in Islamabad to find a joint mechanism for talks with Taliban and other militant groups operating in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
“The APC will take place on Feb 28 and all political parties and groups, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami, will be invited to attend it,” JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced here on Thursday after attending a tribal jirga.
Elders and ulema from different areas of Fata attended the jirga, which held deliberation on the agenda for peace talks with Taliban and APC.
JUI-F and Awami National Party had stepped up efforts for peace talks with Taliban ahead of elections in the country.
ANP had hosted APC in federal capital on Feb 14 to develop national consensus to hammer out joint strategy to eradicate militancy, which has plagued the country for the last one decade.
Violence and militancy have claimed lives of around 40,000 civilians over the last few years, according to the official figures.
That APC had supported peace talks with Taliban and a joint declaration was issued recommending that resolution of the issue of terrorism should be in the ambit of Constitution, law, security and sovereignty of the country.
However, Taliban rejected peace offer terming it election stunt of ANP.
Mr Rehman said recommendations of the grand tribal jirga, which met in Peshawar on December 16, would be discussed in APC.
He said the country’s political leadership would be invited for the conference.
The JUI-F-sponsored jirga had approved 14-point declaration, which demanded of the government to halt military operation and ensure end to the US drone strikes in Fata.
It also called for the implementation of joint resolutions of parliament to resolve all issues through negotiations.
The JUI-F chief said a 65-member tribal jirga would meet leaders of different political leaders in Islamabad on Feb 28 to apprise them of its efforts for sustainable peace in the area.
He said tribal elders would seek support and authority from political leadership before holding talks with Taliban.
Mr Rehman said the Taliban offer for talks should not be rejected.
He said after winning support of political parties, the tribal jirga would take initiative for peace talks with Taliban.
The JUI-F leader said the jirga would focus on dialogue with Taliban and other groups operating in Fata.
He said all political parties and groups, including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami, would be invited to attend APC.