PESHAWAR: The committee formed to hold talks with the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) after a meeting on Thursday announced that the next round of talks with the PTM will be held on May 16.
Member National Assembly (MNA) from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Shahjee Gul Afridi, Malik Khan Marjan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman, Malik Waris Shah, Malik Abdur Rehman and other elders attended the meeting held in Peshawar’s Hyatabad area.
The committee expressed the hope that negotiations with the group would yield positive results. The members were of the view PTM’s May 13 rally in Karachi should be allowed if organised in a democratic fashion. They appealed to the Sindh government not to impede the public gathering of PTM in Karachi and avoid unnecessary arrests. They said the misunderstandings between the state and the PTM will only benefit the anti-state elements. They said all the misunderstandings can be removed by holding dialogue. However, they stressed, that the movement should ensure that no anti-state statements are made during their rally.
The committee members said considerable progress has been made in talks with the PTM during the previous jirgas. They said the genuine demands of PTM can be fulfilled after talks, adding that the jirga members must hold a meeting with the Apex Committee before the May 16 meeting with the PTM in order to make the talks process effective and result-oriented.
The members said jirga is playing the role of an arbitrator between the state of Pakistan and the PTM. They said PTM giving date for the next meeting is a good omen for further proceedings. Manzoor Pishteen is also likely to attend the May 16 meeting. The members believed that the process of talks may be extended till the holy month of Ramazan.
Shah Farman remarked that the PTM had given the date on a short notice. “They should have given time earlier. The last meeting was held on April 25,” he said.
“This is an issue for all the Pashtuns. We hope the PTM will give due importance to the jirga as well,” he added.
The government committee and PTM have earlier held two rounds of talks.