The talks between Pakistan’s government and representatives for the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) finally opened today, two days late, with a four-hour session during which both sides exchanged a list of demands.
Officials on both sides termed the talks “cordial and friendly,” and said that the talks appeared less to be two negotiating committees and instead just everyone working to try to find a middle ground.
That’s a big change from the gloomy assessment after the end of Tuesday, when the talks were supposed to begin and the Pakistani government no-showed, saying they wanted proof the negotiators were authorized to make a deal.
The talks today took place in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad at a government office, likely an attempt to preempt the risk of US drone strikes against TTP negotiators. The last attempt at organizing talks was cancelled after TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud was assassinated by the US just hours before the first meeting.
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