Dead-end deliberations

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The ruse of talks has exposed our leadership

 

Talks between the TTP and the Pakistan government continue. Nuggets like ‘good news soon’, ‘positive response’ and ‘headway’ have made headlines since the talks have commenced, albeit with much reservation and hesitation mainly from the Taliban side.

The second phase of the talks has yet to begin where ‘more concrete steps are to be discussed’. In principle there is headway being made in terms of creating a conducive environment for talks, on demand from the TTP camp.

But what makes the purpose, process, and the composition of the teams on both sides harder to fathom are the statements from the TTP camp and the deafening silence of the present dispensation – unless it has to create its share of noise in defence of the perpetrators of terror.

For example, the recent comment from the Lal masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz. It reads more like an ominous threat directed towards the Pakistan people. “You should know that at the moment they have at least 400 to 500 female suicide bombers in Waziristan and other Tribal areas”, said he, referring to the TTP’s capability to wreak havoc, as if he was reveling in it.

This is the same cleric who was apprehended while trying to escape from the same Lal Masjid where he used to spew venom from the pulpit in a burqa, ironically is the mandatory wrapping for women in pockets where the TTP holds sway.

These aren’t shocking, the Aziz threats. What is shocking, indeed saddening, is the silence of the government and the team supposedly representing our side in the so-called talks.

The TTP have reportedly presented 15 demands that are to be the basis of the second round of talks. These include all the usual stuff: the Sharia law, all relations with the US to end, interest-free banking etc. You get the drift.

However, there’s a kicker this time around.

The Taliban want their leader Mullah Fazlullah to lead the country citing reasons that if he can lead them, he can lead the nation too. How then do the talks remain meaningful and progressive if such sweeping statements are being made during the dialogue process?

Apart from being severely demoralizing for our armed forces, it is quite evident that these talks have next to nothing to do with religion or sharia law imposition and everything to do with a power struggle along with our current government’s lack of confidence and belief in our capability to defeat the Taliban through force.

 

What is especially upsetting and frustrating is the continuation of attacks in the country, with the railway bombing in Karachi and the grenade bombing inside a Peshawar cinema.

Both have taken place after the PM’s decision in NA to give talks another chance and the TTP has denied involvement in both attacks and have even condemned the Peshawar incident.

If factions of the Taliban other than the TTP are carrying out these attacks then shouldn’t we identify and acknowledge their existence and are as capable of damaging us as the TTP are?

Another case in point: if these attacks are continuing and assuming the TTP is serious about peace talks and that they believe talks can only be successful if these attacks stop and also assuming they are not the ones carrying the attacks out, then the question arises, how much control does the TTP have over the rest of the Pakistani Taliban and if these are the Taliban to be talking to in the first place.

The most recent attack Thursday morning in Karachi has killed 13 police officials and the TTP have claimed responsibility for the attack. The capability of our so-called leaders to actually take a meaningful and a much-needed sensible decision on national security is increasingly becoming a lost cause.

As if the attack was not enough, Imran Khan revealed in a television interview that during a meeting where ex-army chief Gen Kayani was also present, Nawaz Sharif is of the opinion that a military operation against the Taliban has a 40 percent chance of success.

Apart from being severely demoralizing for our armed forces, it is quite evident that these talks have next to nothing to do with religion or sharia law imposition and everything to do with a power struggle along with our current government’s lack of confidence and belief in our capability to defeat the Taliban through force.

It hence seems quite apparent that these talks will suffer the same fate as the Swat dialogues, hopefully sooner rather than later.

A military operation, widely expected to be announced in the last NA session, is inevitable.

All the PML-N has achieved by forcing these dead-end deliberations is given the enemy time to prepare and to eliminate the weather disadvantage. The enemy clearly understands this better than our so-called leaders.

1 COMMENT

  1. So MR.Nazami what would you suggest this government do? I applaud you for writing this piece,it took guts I must say.If you go back and read some of the comments from the readers,you will find me asking the same questions and accusing this half baked government of the same missteps and lollygagging around.This government is afraid if you want my opinion,not only that,they don't have a clue to what they want to do,I believe,the government is afraid to let the army take over,simply because they don't want the same outcome as the last 2 times when they were in power and they were forced out.Its been 7 months since they took over the office,what exactly have they done so far other than make promises,empty promises,energy issue,still a joke,terrorism,still strong,economy,going backwards,education,what education,jobs,hahahahahaha.I really hope the people who voted for them are seeing what a BIG mistake that was.But than again,if not PML-N than who,do you see any light at the end of the tunnel ???? I don't see any party or a person worthy of the job,do you? WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO PAKISTAN? I left Pakistan 34 years ago,Its hard to recognize the place,I was there 3 years ago after a 10 year gap, I was totally lost in my own country.What a shame,when will WE the people learn to elect the right person for the job.Its still the same ol same ol story my friend.

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