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    Direct talks with Taleban to restore peace: Sharif

    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that direct talks with the Taleban would get under way in a day or two and hoped that its success would restore peace in the country. Talking to reporters in Rawalpindi after laying foundation stone of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project, Sharif said government-designated panel of bureaucrats will come in direct contact with members of Political Shura of the Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) at an agreed venue for dialogue. He did not name the place but media reports said Bannu airport in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa close to Waziristan has been selected. “Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is working day and night on the proposed dialogue between the TTP and the government which will take place in a day or two,” he said. The prime minister expressed the hope that the dialogue would end militancy and extremism. “After restoring peace we will lead the country to development,” he said. He lashed out at former military dictators and said militancy and extremism flourished because of their wrong policies and the country was mired today in deep social and economic malaise — militancy, corruption, unemployment, indiscipline and poverty. Sharif said a lot of precious time was wasted during years of military rule; otherwise Pakistan would have been ahead of developing countries in the region. He said the country’s economic indicators today were positive. He had advised Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to let the dollar-rupee parity stay at Rs98-99 because any further appreciation of the rupee would hurt exports.

    (Khaleej Times)

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