TEMPO.CO, Peshawar - Four negotiators from the Pakistani government went to Islamabad by helicopter to North Waziristan Province on Wednesday, March 16, 2014. Ibrahim Khan, a professor and cleric who has represented the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said that they will meet Taliban in an undisclosed location.
The meeting was the first direct talk between the Pakistani government and Taliban, which was represented by a number of clerics. The talks were expected to end Taliban insurgency for the last seven years that has killed more than 40,000 people in Pakistan.
The main agenda of the government team, headed by Secretary for Port and Shipping Habibullah Khan Khattak, was to ask Taliban to free Ali Haider, son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was kidnapped almost a year ago.
The team also discussed the extension of ceasefire that had been previously announced by TTP as the time limit of the ceasefire will end next week.
Peace talks between both sides have been delayed for almost a month since Taliban announced that they had slaughtered 23 government military as a counterattack for military assault on their base.
Taliban previously urged the government to free around 300 people, including women, children, and male civilians, as part of peace process. They also demanded to be involved in the government, a request that was rejected by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
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