The negotiations are part of a push by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban that would end a bloody insurgency that has killed thousands of people in recent years.
Earlier, Ibrahim Khan, a professor and a cleric who has represented the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan - as the Pakistani Taliban is formally called - told reporters that the face-to-face discussions were aimed at ending years-long violence. The Pakistani team, headed by government official Habibullah Khan Khattak, flew on Wednesday morning by helicopter to the location for the talks, described as a “peace zone.”
The negotiations come at a sensitive time for Pakistan, where daily militant attacks challenge the government’s authority.
The Taliban, who operate in the northwest, have announced a ceasefire during the talks but attacks claimed by their splinter groups have continued. Shahid, the TTP spokesman, has denied the group’s involvement in the recent violence.