ISLAMABAD: The next round of direct peace talks with the Pakistani Taleban will take place in the coming days, the country’s interior minister said Sunday, denying reports that the negotiations were deadlocked.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said talks with the Taleban militants to reach an accord will enter a “comprehensive” phase in days, with both sides set to put forward formal agendas, after weeks of negotiations.
“The next meeting, which is due to take place over the next few days, will come up with a comprehensive agenda from both sides,” Khan told journalists at a news conference.
Tehreek-e-Taleban (TTP), which announced a ceasefire last month and then extended it for six more days on April 6, has not announced any further extension, but there have been no attacks on the ground since.
The Pakistani government elected last May has been pursuing negotiations instead of military operations as a way to deal with the militant violence that has plagued the country for years and killed thousands. They have held one round of direct talks so far.
The minister denied reports the country’s powerful military is against the talks, saying that most of the prisoners the government has ordered released to facilitate the negotiations were being held in military internment centers.