ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17-- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday condemned the killing of 23 security personnel by the Taliban militants and said the country cannot afford bloodshed any more.
Mr. Sharif's remarks came hours after the Taliban said they have killed the security personnel that were kidnapped in June 2010.
The incident sent waves of shock across Pakistan at a time when the government's negotiators have started dialogue with the Taliban intermediaries to find out a peaceful solution to the problem.
In an angry reaction, the government committee refused to hold talks with the Taliban intermediaries, whom they scheduled to meet on Monday.
The Taliban faction in Mohmand tribal region says that 23 security personnel, who had been captured in 2010, were killed on Sunday as revenge to what it called "extra-judicial killing of its detained activists."
The incident has been proved as a serious setback for the ongoing fragile peace process and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the killing of security personnel.
"Incidents like that of martyrdom of security personnel in Mohmand Agency cast negative impact on peace talks," the prime minister said in a statement.
"We initiated the dialogue process with good intentions on the recommendation of the country's mainstream political parties, however the process is sabotaged whenever we reach an encouraging point," Sharif said.
"It is a highly regrettable situation and the entire nation is grieved over it," he said.
President Mamnoon Hussain has also condemned the killing of the personnel in Mohmand Agency and expressed grief and sorrow over the incident. He also prayed for the eternal peace of those martyred.
Coordinator of the gov't peace team, Irfan Siddiqui said that an urgent meeting of the Government's committee has been convened to meet on Tuesday to review the latest situation after the killing of 23 security men.
A member of the Taliban committee, Prof. Ibrahim, however stressed that the two committees should meet to take the process forward.