Islamabad: Pakistan's presumptive prime minister has called for peace talks with Taliban fighters at war with the government, potentially charting a course that could put him at odds with the country's powerful army.
Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that "terrorism" was one of the most serious problems plaguing the country and any offer by the Pakistani Taliban to talk "should be taken seriously".
"All options should be tried, and guns are not a solution to all problems," Sharif said in a speech to newly elected members of his party in the eastern city of Lahore. "Why shouldn't we sit and talk, engage in dialogue?"
The Pakistani Taliban have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government for years that has killed thousands of people. The militants say they are fighting to enforce Islamic law in the country and end the government's alliance with the United States.