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Lahore
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
EditorialTalking with terrorists

Talking with terrorists

By engaging the banned terrorist group, the government is showing weakness. A great moral argument exists that governments must not negotiate with terrorists as this only gives them more power. The Pakistani government, however, has chosen to negotiate with terrorists. Since the regime change in Afghanistan, terrorist networks in Pakistan have become stronger. In a report by the United Nations Security Council it was stated that Pakistan’s security is on the line now that the Afghan Taliban have come to power. The Afghan Taliban released many banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members after their arrival and have allowed the TTP to operate from Afghan soil even after promising Pakistan that they will not do so. The TTP has become stronger and follows the same agenda that the Afghan Taliban had. The ongoing peace process between the Pakistani government and the TTP has a grim chance to be successful.

The TTP has gained strategic support from their Afghan counterparts since the Afghan Taliban came to power. They have more than 4,000 terrorists on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since the fall of the Ghani regime in August last, Pakistan has seen 46 attacks (claimed by the TTP) on security forces in various areas of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A total of 79 people have lost their lives in these attacks. With more and more TTP members out of prison, the security situation in Pakistan will only deteriorate further.

 

Since last year, the government and the terrorist network of TTP have been involved in three rounds of talks. The negotiations are being conducted by the goodwill of Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani of the notorious Haqqani network that is known for their suicide bomb attacks. Recently, the third round of talks took place between the Pakistani government and the TTP. Earlier the terrorist group agreed to a ceasefire but later went back on its work after claiming that the government was not keeping up its end of the bargain. Consequently, they resumed attacks against the security forces of the Pakistani State. Later, another round of talks warranted a ceasefire after which the government released many TTP fighters who were on death row in Pakistani prisons. Essentially releasing terrorists back into the country so that they may easily disrupt the system. The Taliban, in all of these talks have demanded the removal of all security forces from the tribal areas of Pakistan that border Afghanistan, the revocation of the order that merged FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the withdrawal of cases against their fighters and their release from prison and the implementation of Shariah based ‘Nizam-e-Adl’ in the Malakand Division.

The fulfillment of such demands will only undermine the power of the Pakistani government and security forces. Consequently, it may even lead to the TTP slowly and steadily taking over the entire Pashtun area of Pakistan. Therefore, negotiations with terrorists is always a bad idea. Already they have shown that if the government does not agree to their demands they will return to their methods of intimidation and wreak havoc. Negotiations and diplomacy only work where intentions are pure and there is respect on both sides. The TTP does not have respect for human life or  anything else and so the government must use other methods to crush them. Moreover, it should stop releasing terrorist from prison as appeasement as appeasement never works it only makes matters worse.

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