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Pakistan government, Taliban talks in a day or two: Nawaz Sharif

By Ians

Islamabad, March 24: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Sunday that the government's direct talks with the Taliban would be held in a day or two.

"Talks between the government team and the Taliban's intermediaries are going ahead at a satisfactory pace and hoped that direct talks will start in a day or two," Xinhua quoted Sharif telling during a function.

"There will be peace and the country would get rid of extremism and terrorism," the prime minister said, adding that the restoration of peace will ensure economic prosperity in the country.

Sharif's remarks came a day after the government and Taliban committees agreed on a venue for the direct talks. Both sides have not disclosed the location for the talks over security reasons, Xinhua reported.

Government negotiators started peace talks with the Taliban intermediaries last month, which resulted in a month-long unilateral ceasefire by the Taliban.

Senior Taliban intermediary, Mohammad Ibrahim, also said Sunday that the direct talks will begin in two days that he described as a big achievement.

In a positive response to the Taliban's ceasefire March 1, the security forces suspended air strikes on the Taliban hideouts in Waziristan tribal region.

The government this month formed a high-powered committee for the rare face-to-face dialogue with Taliban leaders.


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