London: The first round of peace talks between Pakistan and a Taliban-nominated team has been held in Islamabad.

The talks are aimed at charting a roadmap to try and end a decade-long insurgency in Pakistan.

The government has set out five conditions, including ending hostilities, saying a journey for peace had started.

The Taliban team agreed to travel to the north-west to discuss the conditions with the leadership.

According to the BBC, a joint statement by the two sides sought to portray as an agreement between the two mediating teams but is in fact the government’s proposed framework for talks.

It does not yet have Taliban approval and two of the conditions run counter to Taliban demands.

The militants have firstly repeatedly rejected the Pakistani constitution. Secondly, they have said they are fighting for a strict Sharia law across Pakistan.

If the militants accept the government’s proposed framework, it would be a major breakthrough and would offer hope for peace talks, but if they reject it outright, the latest initiative fro peace in Pakistan could prove to be a non-starter, the report said.

The first session lasted about three hours at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad.

The head of the Taliban team, Maulana Sami ul-Haq, read out a joint statement afterwards.

It listed five basic conditions that had been set out by the government side, which included that all talks be held within the framework of the constitution; the scope of the talks should remain confined to areas affected by violence; all hostilities should cease during talks; the Taliban should clarify the role of a separate nine-member committee that they have established and the talks should not be protracted.

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Free Press Journal