To gather the TTP on the talking table is again a crusade in itself as the TTP is not a single organized body but an aggregate of several scattered mercenary groups that work under the slogan of takfeer; an ideology that acquits them of the guilt in killing the innocents.
Molana Sami-ul-Haq, the leader of JUI-S tasked by the federal government to initiate talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban has made contact with all the sub-factions, except TTP Ameer Mullah Fazalullah and Asmatuallah Muawia, the leader of Punjabi Taliban; the sources privy to the ongoing development informed us.
In what is being considered as a breakthrough, majority of the TTP groups have given their consent in carrying out unconditional talks with the federal government. PKKH was informed that a confidante of Molana Sami-ul-Haq, Moulana Yousuf Shah represented the Haqqania seminary supremo in the meetings with the commanders of TTP.
When the scribe raised query about the absence of Mullah Fazalullah, the source asserted that Fazalullah after a brief detour within the Pakistani border land had retreated back to Afghanistan. Asmatullah Moavia was deliberately excluded from the peace overtures due to his dismissal from the Markazi Shoora (Executive Committee) by Hakimullah Mehsud, the former leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban.
A highly placed source on the conditions of anonymity confided that Sami-ul-Haq initially requested PM Nawaz Sharif to have the drone attacks halted so as to create reason upon which the TTP could be lured on the table. He said that although Mr. Sharif did not agree to this demand, he still requested Molana Sami-ul-Haq to initiate the much awaited talks. The PM also insisted on publicizing this development so that he could gain sympathies of the Tehreek-e-Taliban.
The PML-N government aims to root out the extremists through negotiations, and has made it a core component of its national security policy that is yet to be unveiled. The increasing dissent in the civil society and the armed forces regarding the negotiations process with the unyielding militants has also kept the government on the tenterhooks. Reportedly, the government is also deliberating to fall back on the military option if talks with the Taliban fail.
Although the Military seems to not have much faith in the dialogue process with a criminal entity within the country and have gained more confidence against their menace after several successful operations last year, nevertheless they will have to give the Nawaz Policy a chance before rejecting it. On the other hand the TTP as usual have expressed disbelief in the political system of the country and asked for sureties from the Army as a condition to enter talks.
Security analysts believe that a decisive operation against the Pakistani Taliban is necessary for the maintenance of peace. Peace talks with an indefinable entity such as the TTP have always been dubious, each time they are initiated, they end up with the killing of the TTP leader who has shown willingness to talk, or die down because of distrust between the different sides. To gather the TTP on the talking table is again a crusade in itself as the TTP is not a single organized body but an aggregate of several scattered mercenary groups that work under the slogan of takfeer; an ideology that acquits them of the guilt in killing the innocents. Nevertheless an effort to contain them through dialogue may not be a bad idea if that equals to saving even only one innocent life, as the use of force, even if surgical does bear the risk of civilian casualties. Yet it is time that will tell the people of Pakistan whether the TTP menace will eventually be ridden by words or by bullets.
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