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Pakistani Prime Minister-Designate Calls For Taliban Talks


Pakistan's incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan's incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan's prime minister-designate has called for a dialogue with hard-line Taliban militants waging a war against the government.

In a speech on May 20, Nawaz Sharif said that the Taliban's past offer of talks should be considered seriously.

Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party won the most seats in the May 11 parliamentary elections and is expected to form a new government within weeks.

Sharif has backed negotiations with the Taliban in the past, but the latest comments are the first indication that he is likely to adopt talks as administration policy.

In February, the Taliban called on Sharif to act as a guarantor in possible talks with the military.

Since the onset of their insurgency in 2003, thousands of civilians and soldiers have died in Taliban attacks and military operations.

Based on reporting by AP and BBC Urdu
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