Pakistan to garner support for Taliban talks in grand conference

Islamabad, Sept. 9 (ANI): Pakistan's senior political and religious leaders will begin a daylong conference in Islamabad Monday to share their proposals for a national security policy that will also include the option to hold talks with the Taliban militants.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has convened the All Parties Conference (APC), will deliver speech and will listen to the views of the political leaders, mostly from opposition parties.

Head of the country's superior intelligence agency Inter- Services Intelligence, Lt. Gen. Zaheeer-ul-Islam will brief the conference on the overall security situation and is likely to respond to questions from the participants.

According to Xinhua, the Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani will also attend the meeting.

Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said the conference is aimed at making efforts to bring peace to the country and the political leadership is fully extending its cooperation.

He expressed the hope that a consensus resolution will be adopted at the end of the conference, which will give a roadmap to the government as to how it should move forward to overcome terrorism and establish peace in the country.

The conference will discuss the possibility of talks with the Taliban and the government wants to get backing for the move.

The conference will also devise a comprehensive strategy for overcoming terrorism that has claimed over 40,000 lives, mostly civilians, in 12 years.

All major political parties have accepted the invitation to participate in the conference, the Interior Minister told a news conference ahead of the meeting.

The meeting is a rare opportunity for all political parties to come up with a joint approach to deal with the issue of terrorism which has badly affected the normal life in Pakistan and its economy.

Officials said that the country had suffered losses of nearly 70 billion U.S. dollars due to terrorism and foreign investors are unwilling to come to Pakistan. (ANI)

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