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Pakistan begins official peace talks with the Taliban

Pakistan begins official peace talks with the Taliban
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Pakistan has entered into official peace talks with the Taliban, according to authorities in the country.

The long-awaited talks aim to chart a path for negotiations to end the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) insurgency.

Held in Islamabad, the first meeting was used to set out five conditions, including putting an end to hostilities.

Maulana Samiul Haq, leader of the Taliban delegation supported the ceasefire.

“To ensure the success of the talks, all activities against peace and security must be ended,” he said.

The other conditions were: all talks are to be held within the framework of the constitution; the scope of the talks should remain confined to areas affected by violence, not the whole of Pakistan; the Taliban should clarify the role of a separate nine-member committee they have established; and the talks should not be protracted.

Head of the government team, Ifram Sadiqui, also spoke out against the hostilities.

“We have to put an end to lawlessness and we have to make Pakistan a place where people can live peacefully according to the teachings of Islam.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the talks initiative following a string of attacks in the week prior to the first meeting.

Thousands have been killed in assaults in Pakistan since the TTP was formed in 2007. More than 100 civilians and soldiers were killed in January 2014 alone.