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TTP negotiations

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that if the Pakistani Taliban surrender, they will be forgiven. He said that he was not in favor of a military solution to the issue. Some groups of the banned TTP want to talk for peace, the government can negotiate to disarm them, he said. Whether the talks will be successful or not is yet to be said. The Afghan Taliban are playing a mediating role in the TTP talks in Afghanistan. 

Imran Khan has been opposed to the idea of using military force against the Taliban since before he became the Prime Minister of Pakistan, while his views have become more strong after the Afghan Taliban’s dominance in Afghanistan. But the government must also remember that the TTP has been declared a terrorist group. The Pakistani Taliban have been involved in kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and bombings, and suicide attacks.

On December 4, 2009, they claimed responsibility for killing 40 people, including 17 worshiping children, and damaging a mosque in Rawalpindi, while a conservative estimate is that more than 70,000 innocent Pakistanis have been martyred in suicide bombings. While the Taliban martyred thousands of Pakistani soldiers by attacking military institutions, innocent school children were also the victims of their brutality. Hundreds of innocent children of Army Public School Peshawar were martyred by breaking into the school and not only this but even female teachers were burned alive in front of students.

The operations of the banned TTP are still going on in Pakistan and the Prime Minister of Pakistan says that if the Pakistani Taliban surrender, they will be forgiven and they can live like ordinary citizens, while Imran Khan has ignored the recent terrorist attacks of the TTP in Pakistan as a wave of attacks. On the other hand, the TTP confirmed the talks with the government announcing a temporary halt to the attacks.

After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, Pakistan is also in a better position to negotiate with the TTP. The government says that there are people in the TTP who want to be loyal to Pakistan, such people should be given this opportunity by the state so that they can return to mainstream life. Opposition parties, however, appear to be opposed to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s pardon of the banned TTP.

As we echo the TTP’s pardon, we must keep in mind that the US Senate recently recommended sanctions on Pakistan for allegedly aiding the Afghan Taliban, while US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to visit next week. Ahead of her visit to Pakistan, the US Deputy Secretary of State accused Pakistan of trying to reconcile with militants in the country and in Afghanistan and demanded that it take action against all extremist groups before visiting Islamabad.

The government should also keep in mind that in the past, whenever Pakistan negotiated with the TTP, it failed and the attacks of the banned party continued to increase, and after the Afghan Taliban took control of Kabul, the TTP re-emerged in Pakistan. Attacks intensified. Although the Afghan Taliban have made it clear that Afghan territory will not be used against Pakistan, it is also important that the Afghan Taliban consider the TTP a part of themselves.

The government should also keep in mind that in the past, whenever Pakistan negotiated with the TTP, it failed and the attacks of the banned party continued and after the Afghan Taliban took control of Kabul, the TTP re-emerged in Pakistan, and once again attacks intensified. Although the Afghan Taliban have made it clear that Afghan territory will not be used against Pakistan, it is also important that the Afghan Taliban consider the TTP a part of themselves.

PM Imran Kan’s view is 100 percent correct that war is not the solution to any problem but the case of the Afghan Taliban and TTP is completely different. Efforts to negotiate continued, but the TTP continued to sabotage the atmosphere of peace through terrorist acts. The government must take into account all the positive and negative aspects in the negotiations with the terrorist organization so that the complete eradication of terrorism and the dream of peace in the country can be realized.