Written by Kumudu Jayawardana
03 Feb, 2014 | 11:21 am
Pakistan’s Taliban have named politician and ex-cricketer Imran Khan as a member of a five-man team to enter into peace talks with the government.
Mr Khan’s party strongly favours negotiations, but a statement said that he would probably prefer to assist the peace process in another role.
PM Nawaz Sharif returned to power last May promising talks with the Taliban.
Deadly attacks have continued and Mr Sharif said this week he was giving peace a last chance by naming a team.
The Taliban said it would consider the offer of talks and has now responded.
The team named by the Taliban on Saturday comprises Mr Khan, the chief cleric of Islamabad’s Red Mosque, Maulana Abdul Aziz, and three top religious party leaders – Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, Mufti Kifayatullah and Prof Ibrahim Khan.
Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told Agence France-Presse news agency: “The committee members will hold talks with their interlocutors in the government’s team on our behalf and put forth our point of view.”
Mr Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party has strongly backed talks.
A statement said he was unlikely to take the role but stood ready to help the peace process.
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