Peshawar, Nov 19 : The NWFP government has reportedly set laying down of arms as the foremost condition for peace talks with the Swat-based Taliban.
According to official sources, the condition was presented before members of a Kanjoo Peace Jirga, who met members of the NWFP Assembly from Swat district at the Frontier House to discuss a possible truce in the valley.
The peace jirga, led by Inamur Rehman, informed the MPAs that the Taliban were ready for 'unconditional' talks with the government and that their chief [Fazlullah] would abide by the decisions of the jirga, the Daily Times quote the sources as saying.
"Talks will not be initiated unless the jirga assures the government that the Taliban will lay down arms and abide by any decision taken by the jirga consisting of MPAs from Swat and members of the Swat-based Kanjoo Peace Jirga," said the official.
The Kanjoo jirga held talks with Taliban leader Fazlullah at an undisclosed location in Swat three days ago and obtained his consent to abide by the jirga's decisions, said another source.
The meeting between the jirga and the members of the provincial assembly, which was also attended by Awami National Party's (ANP) provincial president Afrasiab Khattak, was the third in the last few weeks.
The sources said that the NWFP government asked jirga members to ensure that the Taliban do not violate the peace agreement, if it were ever reached in the future. "We are apprehensive, because the May 21 agreement signed with the Taliban was broken by those in Waziristan," said a senior government official.