Brutal Killing of FC soldiers: An attempt to Sabotage Peace Process

23-FC-Personnel-martyredThe news of execution of 23 Frontier Corps soldiers shocked everyone who were made hostage in 2010 by the Tehrik-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Even the members of TTP’s negotiations Committee were dumbfounded by this brutal act at a time when hope of success of peace dialogue was prevailing. Surprisingly, TTP’s main spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid is coming up with lame excuses to justify gruesome slaying of soldiers while at the same time expressing militants wish for continuation of peace dialogue. This development has obscured the process of negotiations and members of government’s dialogue team have already expressed its displeasure. The government has made clear that violent acts of terrorism and peace efforts can not go hand in hand.

The soldiers of FC were kidnapped in June 2010 from Mohmand Agency and they were in the captivity of TTP for the last four years. The timing of their execution indicates the ulterior motives of their captors. Apparently it was not possible for Umar Khalid Khorasani, the Amir of Mohmand chapter of TTP to keep these prisoners for such a long time without the aid and consent of main leadership. Similarly, the slaying of these soldiers could not take place without a nod from Amir of TTP. No doubt, hostile agencies are active to sabotage the peace efforts but the full responsibility of this unjust, inhuman and un-Islamic act lays on TTP. Therefore, it should offer unconditional apology to government if it is serious in conducting peace negotiations rather than presenting cock and bull stories to justify it.

The government has been very flexible while responding to the requests of peaceful negotiations by the TTP and its sympathizers so far. It is conducting this process with full sincerity and seriousness. But unfortunately, the militants are continuously casting shadows over this process through unnecessary violent acts and anti-state propaganda. The government has put utmost efforts to remove the reservations of TTP at national and international level. It convinced USA to halt drone strikes while negotiations are underway and security forces have also scaled down their anti-militant operations to support this process.  As a result, no drone strike took place in last 2 months and Law enforcing agencies are also operating cautiously in militancy hit areas. The government has already halted the execution of those militants who are on death row as a goodwill gesture. But TTP has beheaded FC soldiers in return to spoil the peaceful environment. This reflects its nefarious designs under the garb of Islam and Shariah.

The inhuman execution of FC soldiers at the hands of TTP also shows how this militant outfit is deviated from the teachings of Islam.  Their beheading and subsequent torturing of their dead bodies is sheer violation of Quran and Sunnah. Going a step ahead, TTP is also spreading the video of mutilated bodies for its propaganda. It is like torturing heirs of these soldiers, their children and parents. A Muslim cannot even think to engage in such brutal practices. Moreover, TTP speaks a lot about the plight of its arrested terrorists; it did not give a chance to slaughtered FC personnel’s to prove their innocence.

The officers and men of Pakistan Armed Forces have made tremendous sacrifices while fighting the terrorists. The martyrdom of 23 FC soldiers is another addition to the traditional bravery and valor of security forces while tackling the militants. These brave soldiers and their families suffered at the hands of militants just for the sake of their people and country. They proved that inhuman and brutal tactics of Tehrik-Taliban Pakistan cannot break the strong resolve of people of Pakistan and their brave soldiers to fight until militancy reaches its ultimate end. While rejecting the TTP’s lame excuses to justify the killing of kidnapped soldiers, Ministry of Defence had made clear that Pakistan Army is fully ready to launch operation if peace process fails and government decides to employ force. We must do everything to boost the morale of our Army and other security forces.

Continuing the campaign of terror, the militants killed Major Jahanzaib of Pakistan Army at bazargai in Frontier Region of Peshawar on 18 February. If the militants continue to hit our people with terror, then the peace dialogue is doomed to be failed. TTP and its sympathizers must consider it seriously.

By Zaheerul Hassan

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