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Pakistani Govt Talks with Taliban Delayed

Preliminary peace talks between the Pakistani government and and the Pakistani Taliban have been delayed after the government failed to show up for the meeting.

Negotiators were scheduled to meet Tuesday in Islamabad to chart a plan for the talks.

However, journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, a member of the government's delegation, said it was still waiting for clarification on who was on the Taliban negotiating team.

The Taliban initially named five negotiators for the talks, but after two politicians withdrew, they are left with three hard line clerics representing the group.

Rustum Shah Mohmand, a senior Pakistani politician on the government's negotiating team, told VOA that he believes it would have been useful to include Taliban members or leaders in the actual negotiations.

He says that now they have received the named of those representing the militant group, talks should resume within a day or two.

Tuesday's gathering was described as an introductory meeting aimed at resolving conflicts over tribal areas that are currently under Taliban control.

The Taliban insurgency has taken thousands of lives over a decade.

The Taliban continues to insist on hard line sharia law while the government has stressed the need to provide democratic freedoms. Critics have accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government of taking a weak stand against the Taliban in the past.