Negotiations with Terrorists are Advisable?
By Zaheerul Hassan
Despite government offer of negotiations, continuous wave of militancy not only shocked the country but it has taken aback by the supporters of talks with local Taliban. Moreover, it also put them in embarrassing situation within their own circle and the general masses. Every patriotic and peaceful citizen is worried about the security situation because of increasing domestic violence. How to establish peace and restore the writ of the government has turned into a great challenge to the ruling elites.
During ongoing terrorism, just in the last 131 days, 1683 individuals including 317 security personnel have been killed and over 2000 injured. Terrorists carried out six attacks when Pakistani Prime Minister during his UN visit was engaged in showing his determination to fight against poverty and terrorism in the country. For instance, on 29 September, at least 42 people were killed and more than 80 injured in a blast near Khan Raziq Police Station in Qissa Khawani bazaar of Peshawar. Out of these killed, 17 individuals came from Charsadda to make shopping for the wedding of their love one.
Again on 27 September 2013, nineteen persons were killed and 46 others sustained injuries in an explosion on a bus carrying mostly government employees after duty hours from the provincial capital to their villages in the Charsadda district. The innocent women and kids were also part of victims of terrorism.
On 22 September Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) sponsored suicide bombers blew themselves inside a church near Kohati Gate, killed 85 and wounding about 140 individuals. The Jundullah Wing of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. In this regard an unknown spokesman while talking to a media group stated, “They are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them. We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.” Later on increasing media and civil society pressure, TTP denied the responsibility of suicidal attacks against the Christians. Anyhow, the second last Sunday of September 2013 will forever remember as ‘Hard Day’ for the Christian community of Peshawar in particular and as whole for the nation. It would not be wrong in saying that a Muslim cannot do such kind of act against innocent human. Islam gives right to all the human beings to live according to their respective religions, customs and services. It protects the human rights of all minorities residing under Islamic society. Thus, the persons who carried out brutal action against our Christians’ brothers are out of Islam and playing the foreign agenda. Therefore, hitting against Christians and other minorities would be considered as targeting Pakistan.
On the same day, a bomb targeted police killed at least five people and wounded five others in Pishin district, 40 kilometers north of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province that further confirmed the involvement of foreign sponsored insurgency throughout the country.
Earlier, on 15 September, in the roadside bomb attack by TTP, Maj Gen Sanaullah, Lt Col Touseef and Lance Naek Imran embraced Shahadat (martyrdom). They were returning after visiting the troops deployed on posts in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
The purpose of quoting all these blasts now are to make an appeal to TTP sympathizers that please start condemning them openly instead having soft corner due to one or other pretext. To give fair chance to the Taliban, PML (N) government called on APC and obtained “Blank Cheque” to start the peace process with them. But hurriedly, Chief Minister KP in his excitement declared on 14 September that troops deployed in Shangla, Dir and Malakand Division would fall back next month. On contrary to the government’s offer of negotiations, TTP has further geared up its militant activities and started hitting government officials and buildings.
Anyhow, the recent attack on Church was carried out, once the Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has left for New York to attend the 68th session of the UN General Assembly scheduled from September 23 to September 29. He was expected to raise the relentless use of drone strikes in Pakistan territory in the UN meeting. According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the CIA carried out 373 drone strikes in which 2,513 – 3,595 has been killed including 407-926 Civilians, 168-200 Children and 1,112-1,494 injured, despite local resistance and opposition. Thus, to cut the story short, it is quite possible that some foreign hand has tried to sabotage Prime Minister Visit and distorting Pakistan image in international community while gearing up the militancy.
Consequently, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility of all above mentioned attacks. However, it has been noticed that the pattern of claiming or acceptance of responsibility always subjected to the nature of the targets. For example, killing of security personals’, blowing up government and military installations has always been claimed by the Hakimullah Mehsud and Maulvi Fazlullah group. Whereas, Jundullah Wing of TTP used to take the responsibility of killing civilians and minorities. In fact 30 militants groups having different ideology starting from religious to criminal motives exist in TTP. Besides extremist Muslims from other countries, RAW and CIA agents under the cover of Muslim Mujahids are also carrying out militancy throughout the country. Moreover, numbers of Taliban commanders are enjoying powers as head of their self-reliant respective groups and challenging the writ of the state. They are also involved in kidnapping for ransom, extorting money, providing explosives, arms and ammunition for the militants. It would not be wrong in saying that these TTP militants are using “Taliban” label just to cover their anti state and criminal activities under the garb of Afghan Talban.
Thus, government agencies should approach Afghan Taliban for seeking help to announce their delinking with TTP. If not possible then, Afghan Taliban should play their positive role in negotiations between TTP and Pakistani government, as the latter is facilitating talks between U.S and them. It is an established fact that Pakistani bordering Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where Maulvi Fazlullah and his militant group are operating. Afghan government, ISAF and NATO should be approached to handover Maulvi Fazlullah to Pakistan.
On September 16, 2013, Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani indomitably stated that the military top brass supports the peace process of political leadership but won’t allow the terrorists to take undue advantage of it. He left no misconception in it while saying that terrorists will not be allowed to impose their agenda. General made it clear that Pakistan Army has both the capability and eligibility to fight against terrorists. In fact, COAS’s statement came on the day when Major General Sannullah along with two others military personals have been martyred by Maulvi Fazlulla group of TTP. He also met Prime Minister and visited Swat and addresses the troops participating in elimination of militants.
Later on, TTP has released pre-negotiations demands; withdrawal of troops from the tribal regions, release of TTP prisoners and implementing Islamic system of their choice. According to the media reports on September 19 TTP leader Mehsud contacted Mr. Paracha, a former ruling party MNA from Kohat. Paracha is serving as a coordinator for the talks, confirmed that Mehsud had telephoned him and given a list of 50 prisoners, demanding their release. Paracha added that the prisoners were associated with the TTP, sectarian outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
We must know that TTP has already claimed the lives of more than 50,000 civilians and nearly 5,000 security officials. Now keeping in view the recent actions of TTP, question arises that whether Pakistani political and military leadership should accept TTP demands or not. It would be suggested here that government should not accept such like TTP demands without their surrendering to law enforcing agencies. Negotiations should only be carried out with those local Taliban who believes in constitution of Pakistan. If they deny surrendering then political and religious parties should develop consensus in the parliament for launching forceful Military Operation against them, instead throwing burden on Army.
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