Now, it has been more than a decade now that the government has shown leniency and soft tone to tame and bring Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) to the table. This grave leniency has not only worsened the law and order situation in the country, deteriorated its economy and but has also put the image of its prestigious institutions at stake. Instead of any counter action, the emotional speeches and formation of committees by the governments has always encouraged TTP to carry forward extremism and militancy against the state, its institutions and people as and when desired.
In an interesting turn of events, the federal government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have announced their teams of negotiators to talk about peace.
The security analysts are skeptical about the future of the talks, saying the Taliban are still in no mood to lay down arms and instead, they are set to raise a plethora of demands to the government.
The Taliban’s wish list surfaced in media contains their demand to promulgate rule of Sharia, introduction of an interest-free financial system, withdrawal of troops from tribal areas and abolishment of military check posts. They further demanded release of their 4,752 activists, currently imprisoned in jails and ending up all cases registered against TTP activists. The list also contains the names of those who have been served death sentence by the courts. Interestingly, the TTP has also demanded for compensation of losses it faced during military operation. Acceptance of these demands would simply mean surrendering the state authority.
Taliban is an armed group and has successfully been mounting attacks on the Pakistani government, its army and the political personalities, not to mention ordinary citizens. They have training facilities, huge ammunition, and continuous supply of funds and have relations beyond borders.
It is pertinent to mention that the Taliban responded positively for the peace talks after recent bombings by Pakistan army on their hideouts in Waziristan after a Taliban suicide bomber killed 13 people in a crowded market near Islamabad and two days later TTP killed 20 troops in the northwest town of Bannu.
Numerous peace accords have previously been broken by the militants who used the time to gather their strength and reunite in the name of negotiations. And in case the talks reach an agreement, what would be the future of the Taliban army, which is a huge trained force? There is no doubt that people trained for war would never be ready to work as factory laborers.
If the government wants to maintain peace, Pakistan government would have to opt for a well-planned and in-discriminatory full military operation in all hide-outs of TTP to dig and cut out all its resources. The in-discriminatory military operation will make people realize the cost and consequences of supporting TTP in their areas. The hue and cry of people losing near and dear ones in wake of military operation will ultimately lose locals support to TTP and will ultimately pressurize them to either quit Pakistan or sit on the table for talks unconditionally.
A military action if not carried out today will be quite challenging in future as is evident from the intensity in extremism and terrorism by TTP which has increased every year. It is the only way out to bring them on the table but on government’s terms and conditions. Long live Pakistan!