Sherpao for national anti-terror initiative | Pakistan Today

Sherpao for national anti-terror initiative

Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, the chief of his own faction of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP-Sherpao), has urged the government to lead a national policy initiative to counter extremism prevailing in the society. In an in-depth interview with Online, Sherpao alleged that the civilian government was relying on the status quo which would hardly lead to resolution of the violent conflict with extremism. “This is the biggest flaw in the system that impedes any positive or constructive change,” he said.
“It is universally accepted fact that military action alone could not be a solution to the conflict between the extremists and the state,” he said, adding, “A process of political reconciliation must follow any armed la enforcement.” “And for launching a process of political reconciliation that could lure hardliners to the table would require a national initiative,” he said. Sherpao also called for discussing the issue of North Waziristan in the Parliament for an amicable consensus decision. Otherwise, carrying out an army operation merely to fulfil the American demand would alarmingly disastrous not only for Pakistan but also for the entire world security.
Although he ruled out a general uprising in retaliation to the army operation in North Waziristan yet he said it would exacerbate the conflict rather than ending it. Instead of army operation in North Waziristan, the civilians as well as military leadership should focus on stopping the cross-border movement of militants, he added. He said it was a responsibility of the incumbent government to come up with a comprehensive policy leading to the logical end of the violence. “All stakeholders must be on board, and the government should take input from all quarters including civil society and media besides compulsory consultations with political forces.”
Sherpao was of the view that the proposed national counter-terror policy should provide umbrella for setting up group to steering the peace and reconciliation process, as a counterpart to the Afghan High Peace Council under Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani. He suggested extension of the Political Parties Act to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and reforming the FCR (Frontier Control Regulations) as the first two step for achieving the aim. Eventually, Federally Administered Tribal Areas people should be given the right to determine their administrative status as a separate province, merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or even if they wish to stay as a federally administered area, he proposed.

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