Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad, on July 6, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

Talks with TTP in ‘pre-dialogue’ stage: interior minister

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Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah addresses a press conference in Islamabad, on July 6, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Wednesday that the government’s talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were at a “pre-dialogue” after political parties approved negotiations with the militants.

In a press conference, the interior minister said the military leadership suggested forming a committee comprising all political parties — a proposal that was accepted by the Parliament as well as the parties.

The development comes after the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) received a briefing from the military leadership on TTP, where the committee gave formal approval to the government for holding talks with the banned outfit.

The interior minister said the dialogue process with the TTP will be taken forward under the supervision of the Parliament, terming the briefing provided to the committee a “comprehensive one”.

Sanaullah said that all the negotiations would be conditional upon the Parliament’s approval.

Responding to questions, the minister said that former prime minister Imran Khan cannot scare anybody through his threats, blackmailing, and conspiracy narrative.

‘Recording to expose a crime is not a crime’

Sanaullah also said that any recording — either audio or video — made to expose a crime is not a crime unless it is done to blackmail someone.

The interior minister made these remarks when he was asked to comment on the alleged audio of Bushra Bibi in which she could be heard directing the PTI social media head to run trends against party rivals and declare them traitors.

The audio has sparked a debate over privacy issues, while the PTI has demanded the top court take notice of the leaked audio. There are reports that alleged audio of former prime minister Imran Khan talking to his principal secretary Azam Khan may also be released.

“If a recording is made to expose a criminal offence, it is not a crime and if a recording is done to blackmail, it is a crime,” the minister said.

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