ISLAMABAD  - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s proposal to engage Maulana Fazlur Rahman in peace talks, has offered ‘Jirga forum’ to jumpstart the peace talks.

“If the PM needs any support from Maulana Fazl Rahman in holding talks, the Jirga forum is available even today to immediately start Taliban talks,” said JUI-F spokesman, welcoming Nawaz Sharif’s offer that other politicians can hold talks with the Taliban.

The religio-political party commented that it is unfortunate that belatedly prime minister admitted challenges in holding talks by saying that it is not for the government only to hold talks. “Had he (PM) consulted JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazalur Rahman as being head of a political ally, on holding talks with the Taliban, through a rightful mechanism, things would have been much easier today,” he said.

He said that both JUI-F and PML-N also agreed upon to fulfill their commitment with the people of FATA through the tribal Jirga when they initially became allies.

He said that Nawaz Sharif was serious, when he and other national leadership, mandated the tribal Jirga before general elections in Islamabad, and promised to proceed with talks after coming into power.

He was also serious when he held the APC and got the mandate from the national leadership. But JUI-F foresaw hurdles in the way of adopting meaningful mechanism for holding talks.

It is relevant to mention here that JUI-F in June last had finalized the blueprint of the mechanism for peace talks with TTP, with a hope to jointly work on it.

In the recommended plan reportedly comprising five stages, the Jirga will meet both sides to inquire of redlines/conditions.

According to the proposed draft the peace building in FATA envisages an objectives to establish peace and a road map or a mechanism to achieve the objective.