Pakistani minister accuses US of 'killing peace'

Islamabad, Nov 3 (IANS) Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Saturday accused the US of "killing the peace" through a drone strike which killed Pakistani Taliban Chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

The minister told a press conference that the government had finalised a strategy to begin talks with the Taliban but the US drone strike in north Waziristan tribal region has caused a serious setback to the process, Xinhua reported.

A three-member delegation of the country's top religious scholars was scheduled to leave for Waziristan Saturday morning to meet the Taliban to discuss the possible agenda and decide place

The visit was cancelled following the drone strike.

"It is the murder of the peace and peace efforts by the government of Pakistan," the minister said after he presided over a high level meeting on the situation arising out the murder of the Taliban chief.

"The US has ambushed the peace process from the back," Chaudhry said.

The minister disclosed that there had been progress towards the peace talks with the Taliban and both sides had also exchanged messages and had established "positive contacts".

Chaudhry said the government had earlier planned to start talks with the Taliban but series of attacks including one on the top military officers over the past two months had affected the process.

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