The Pakistani Taliban may include disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan and federal minster Makhdoom Amin Fahim in a list of persons who could act as guarantors for possible peace talks with the government, according to a media report on Tuesday.
Khan had been informed about the stance of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and he ‘had showed his willingness to play his role to bring peace back to the country’, sources close to the Taliban were quoted as saying by The Frontier Post daily.
Fahim, a top leader of the ruling Pakistan People's Party and the commerce minister, was in the Taliban's ‘good books’ and it was likely that he would be included in the list of the guarantors, the report said.
The Taliban has formed a six-member committee to deal with the grand jirga that has been formed at the initiative of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for peace talks.
Unnamed members of the grand jirga too said Khan and Fahim could be included in the list of guarantors. The Taliban had originally named Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan as possible guarantors for the peace talks.
The six-member committee would work as mediators between the grand jirga and the Taliban, the sources said. An unnamed grand jirga member said the process of talks was underway and "positive progress" was expected soon.
"We are working and you will see the results very soon," the grand jirga member was quoted as saying. The grand jirga has met with the ‘high ups’ of the Taliban and they had expressed satisfaction at recent developments, the member said without giving details.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah and other commanders have made offers of talks to the government. The Taliban have refused to disarm ahead of the talks.
The government has been insisting that the militants should declare a ceasefire and give up violence before talks.