The leader of the religious political party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-S), Maulana Sami ul Haq, who was playing a key role in holding peace talks with Pakistani Taliban, distances himself from the dialogue process.
The Pakistani cleric, who heads the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary, said on Wednesday that he would no longer act as a government-backed peace broker with the militants, after air strikes killed 40 people in North Waziristan tribal agency bordering Afghanistan.
Maulana is said to have close ties with Taliban and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, gave him a task in December last year to initiate peace talks with Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
JUI Chief in a press statement said, "The government does not seem serious and concerned. I had requested them to avoid a military operation and use of force but yesterday it started bombing in North Waziristan and tribal areas." He added, "In such a situation I want to separate myself from this bloody tragedy." The security officials claimed that at least 36 of the 40 killed during the air strikes in the North Waziristan tribal region on Tuesday were foreign fighters including 33 Uzbeks and three Germans. Pakistan military launched air strikes in northern tribal area after two deadly attacks targeted the army in northern Bannu district and eastern Rawalpindi city killing over 38 people.
Militants have been targeting government installations and security men in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan since 2007 and the Pakistan army has conducted several successful operations against them to maintain law and order.