Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for peace talks with the Taliban militants in an attempt to end violence in the country.
“I would like to take a step forward and invite those elements for dialogue who have unfortunately taken the path of extremism,” Sharif said on Monday, adding, “Like every Pakistani, I want to put an end to this bloodshed as soon as possible, whether this is done through mutual understanding at the negotiating table or the use of full fledged state force.”
The Pakistani prime minister went on to say that the South Asian country is facing “serious challenges” such as terrorism which jeopardize “the very survival of the country.”
Meanwhile, he expressed anger over deadly strikes carried out by US assassination drones in the country, saying the attacks are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The slaughter of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, in US drone strikes has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington, and Pakistani officials have complained to the US administration on numerous occasions.
In September 2012, a report by the Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law gave an alarming account of the effect that assassination drone strikes have on ordinary people in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
“The number of ‘high-level’ targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low — estimated at just 2 percent,” the report noted
Pakistan has experienced unrelenting bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, after Islamabad joined an alliance with Washington in the so-called war on terror.
Since then, thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks.
Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence and militancy sweeping across the country.