Peace talks withdrawal: Need to empower Jirga
Banned outfit Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has withdrawn the peace talk’s offer saying that the government is not serious in the process. TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan in a video of about 8 minute duration delivered to media from an unknown location accused the ruling alliance of being non-serious, corrupt and have done nothing for the welfare of the people.
He further said in his video that the present system of government was not amid to bring any positive change in the lives of the people. He urged the people to support them in setting up an Islamic system in the country.He once again came hard on PPP, ANP and MQM, stressing the people to keep aloof from the political gatherings of the said parties. Whatever the case may be it is a matter of concern that the retreat of the peace talks at a time when the country is busy in electioneering and all the parties have to go to the voters, is not at all a positive development.
Election campaign needs a peaceful environment so that the voters and the politicians could move freely and take part in the election process without any fear or threats. After the recent threats from the TTP, it seems that the law and order situation in the country will worsen.
After the All Parties Conference (APC) by ANP and then by the JUI with elders from all over the tribal areas called as Grand Jirga, it was presumed that as a result of these talks the country would see a new era of peace, bring an to the bloody wave of terrorism.
The elders of the Jirga were also optimistic about the positive results of the talks as they were sure that both–the government and the Taliban, were eager to move along with the peace talks. But all the hopes of the peace talks faded away with the sluggish attitude of the government as no seriousness was shown in taking ahead the peace talks.
The behavior of the militants could not come to the fore but the conditions they put for the talks were quite debatable. Important thing in this practice was the role of the tribal elders. Here, the matter is not about the conditions of the Taliban of the approach of the government, rather the basic thing is whether the parties are willing to establish peace or not? If the answer is yes then the matter should be left on the disposal of the tribal elders who can tackle it in their own style.
The tribal elders have the capability to tackle the situation in their own way if given a chance to do it. But it seems that neither of the parties-Taliban or the government, is serious in establishing peace in the country. Another thing that has become clear from the recent developments is that the politicians are not of that caliber to handle any kind of sensitive situation.
The disinterest of the outgoing rulers is quite evident and can be felt easily. If they are loyal they should keep the process of the peace talks without bothering whether they are in power or not. On the other hand, the Taliban has also shown bit haste in concluding that the government is not serious in the peace talks. How you can expect from a government, who itself is a guest for a few days.
The formula can be applied in the Taliban as if they are true in bring peace to the country then they should not withdraw the offer mere on the pretext that the government was not serious. Peace is not the name of safety of a few ministers or the just the security of the ruling class rather it is the name of security of the entire country and of every individual of the state no matter who he is.
Another stake-holder of this matter is the army. No doubt, the army has a share in the peace process but it should be kept in mind for all those who participate in the peace talks the power of decision making constitutionally rests in the hands of the government not with the army. Here again the Taliban leadership too should think if the PPP government has left it doesn’t mean that the peace process should diminish too.
The peace deal of the TTP is not with the government rather with the state and the state is still there. The point to ponder is that governments come and go but states remain there. If both of the parties are honest in hammer out a durable solution to the problem, then the peace talks ought to continue. Small irritants or mere pretexts to say that someone is not serious are perhaps not enough to stop the peace process.
The issue needs some time to come to the point of solution, and the tribal elders should be given that due time as well as proper environment and powers to proceed towards the solution and it will surely bring fruit. It is perhaps right time to deal with this cancer of the country which has been eating up not only the people but also the country as a whole. By the way, after the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan, we surely will have no way out of the situation to deal with it once for all.(Ihsan Dawar)