The Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP’s) stance that talks between the government and the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) should be discussed in the parliament raises a valid question: who is holding dialogues with the outfit? The TTP has announced an indefinite ceasefire with the government. The PPP stance shows as if it is not happy with the talks or wants to avoid sharing the responsibility of the process as it is the part of the coalition government, and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari holds the Foreign Ministry. No doubt, the parliament should take all important decisions, including this one too. Peace talks began during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) tenure without much fanfare as the government kept the nation in the dark about the talks. The incumbent government also has yet to share any detail about the talks and terms. According to media leaks, the TTP wants the revocation of the merger of the Fata areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the enforcement of Sharia laws in tribal areas. The leaks also stated that a grand tribal jirga in Kabul was brokering the talks. This is not the first time the Pakistani government is holding dialogues with the terror outfits.
Earlier in 2014, the government made a committee, with the backing of the parliament, to negotiate peace with the terror outfits. Things could not proceed after the TTP demanded that all of its fighters jailed in Pakistan should be released. Later on, the TTP wreaked havoc on innocent people. The takeover of Kabul by the Taliban government brought a ray of hope for the people of Pakistan that now the militancy would end. This, however, did not happen, and instead, the TTP killed people from Karachi to Peshawar, and even now, their fighters and facilitators keep on attacking army troops in the former tribal areas. The parliament should discuss the talks, but let us not be optimistic about the success of the talks or even if a peace deal with the TTP was signed, it would not last long.