LAHORE - Sunni Ittehad Council (Mashhadi group) chief Pir Syed Mehfooz Shah Mashhadi has said that JUI-S and Muttahida Deeni Mahaz chief Maulana Sami ul Haq is a bridge between incoming PML-N government and Taliban to broker long awaited peace talks putting an end to era of war and conflict that ravaged peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

In statement, he said that reaching out to Maulana Samiul Haq to seek his mediation between Taliban and new government was as an action in the right direction because both regarded Maulana as trustworthy person.

“In a situation when there is mistrust galore among all the stakeholders, Sami ul Haq can help minimise differences by bridging trust deficit to secure a lasting peace deal,” he opined.

He said that peace could be restored in Pakistan if same was available in Afghanistan and this could take place only when Taliban were taken on board in the process of formation of government in Afghanistan.

He said that an action plan was afoot to set off membership drive and party reorganisation to expand its outreach in the length and breadth of country.

“Result of partying way is obvious to Hamid Raza, SIC (Fazal Kareem) failed to bag even a single seat and we secured three seats of Provincial Assembly in Punjab. Had we stayed united, our vote bank would not have been scattered and we  would have managed to secure more than 10 seats of Provincial Assemblies but also clinch some National Assembly seats,” he said.

On the other hand, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST) strongly opposed talks with Taliban.

Mufti Liaquat Ali Rizvi, Allama Tahir Iqbal Chishti and others said Shariah does not permit to forgive any law violator personally.

They said no talks should be held until the enemies of Islam and Pakistan surrender.

INP adds: Nawaz Sharif’s call for peace talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has been welcomed by the banned militant outfit, a media report said on Thursday.

Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan told to a private television the offer for peace talks made by prime minister-elect Sharif was a positive sign and that the militant establishment was devising a strategy over the course of action to be taken in response to the talks offer.

The TTP spokesperson meanwhile claimed the responsibility for Thursday’s bomb attack in Quetta district of Balochistan province, saying the bombing was carried out in retaliation to killing of Taliban operatives from Malakand region.