Defending the policies adopted by the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government on dealing with outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday said the criticism over their decision to hold talks with the banned outfit was “unwarranted”. The leadership of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) holds the past government responsible for the recent spike in terrorism in the country. In January, Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the former government had adopted a policy to “appease” TTP. Qureshi, who served as the foreign minister in the PTI’s government, said that they had decided to mainstream the Pakistani Taliban as they had to return. However, he said that certain conditions had been set to mainstream the Taliban. The PTI leader said that the group must accept the Constitution of Pakistan and not bring arms from Afghanistan. “They have to come here and live in peace, they have to be rehabilitated,” Qureshi said in an interview with a private TV channel. The PTI leader said that the then National Assembly had been given briefing during an in-camera session on the matter. Shifting the blame to the PDM-led government, the PTI leader said that the meetings were attended by everyone including incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Bilawal, the then-army chief, ISI chief and all others. “Those who are raising objections today, were all sitting in the briefings,” he added. The former minister said that it had been decided after this meeting that they had to move forward and make a plan of action regarding the return of the Taliban but right after that the PTI’s rule was toppled. Due to the PTI’s policies, the country witnessed a decrease in terrorism, he said, and held the PDM-led government responsible for the recent spike in terrorism. Referring to the PTI’s protest against terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Qureshi said did they not point out when “people” started approaching Swat. “Did Murad Saeed and others not mobilise the local people?” asked the PTI leader. Berating the incumbent movement, he asked if Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had not made a statement that no foreign people came there. He maintained that no political party can make such decisions alone, adding that they will have to move forward by accepting the facts. The PTI leader said that the government should have implemented the national action plan. Responding to a question, Qureshi advised the ruling coalition to put their house in order before contacting the PTI for dialogues. “A section of PML-N and Fazalur Rehman are against the dialogues [with the PTI],” he added. Qureshi further said that they have never refused to talk but the government has to take the first step.