In an effort to bring peace in the country, the provincial government of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) held official talks with local Taliban in the province and bordering tribal areas.
The ruling party in the provincial assembly, Awami National Party (ANP), and the local Taliban have formally made contacts to negotiate peace and find a solution to the growing militancy in the NWFP and tribal areas, reported a local newspaper 'Dawn' on Sunday.
The ANP has already expressed its desire of bringing all hostile quarters to the negotiating table to work out a lasting solution to the war-like situation along the Pak-Afghan Durand Line and in some settled districts of the province.
The local Taliban had welcomed the ANP's move, sources told Dawn.
ANP central information secretary Zahid Khan confirmed that his party was in contact with the Taliban.
"Yes, the ANP has been in contact only with the local Taliban, but Amir Haider Hoti (the chief minister-designate of the NWFP) will formally announce modalities for talks after assuming the charge," he told Dawn.
Hoti has already announced that his government will hold talks with fighters in order to maintain peace in the province.
He said ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan had conveyed to a US delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher that his party would negotiate with the local Taliban to find an amicable solution to the problem, a move strongly opposed by the US.
ANP sources said the Taliban had agreed to initiate peace talks, adding that tribal elders had been facilitating negotiations between the ANP and the local Taliban.
Last Mod: 30 Mart 2008, 18:25