THIS refers to the report ‘Government reaches understanding with TTP for temporary truce’ (Nov 5). This is indeed surprising that the government has recently struck a deal with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for a one-month truce.
A similar arrangement was also reached with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) under which hundreds of its activists were released from jails. Details of the deal with both outfits are not known yet. Even the interior minister has expressed his ignorance about the actual contents of the deal. As is being reported, the government is willing to go to any length to maintain peace and, therefore, wants these outfits back in mainstream national politics.
Let me first mention that most of terrorist and suicide bombings carried out in Pakistan during the last 10 years, killing thousands of innocent people, including men in uniform, have been carried out and also claimed by the TTP.
The Army Public School (APS), Peshawar, tragedy is still fresh in everyone’s mind. The TTP is still on the United Nations list. Any sort of understanding with it may have serious and severe repercussions.
Besides, is there any plan to consider the policemen who were killed by TLP activists during its demonstrations in Gujranwala recently? Is anyone thinking about them and their families?
There is an urgent need to discuss the matter in parliament in order to reach a consensus over dealing with the TTP and the TLP. Giving concessions and showing that the government is on weaker grounds should never be the case.
What massage will it give to about hundreds of other religious groups in the country? Violence has proved the greatest bargaining chip. If you can shut the towns, you can be accommodated. Independent observers believe that the TTP has agreed to the current offering in order to get some breathing space, and it will return to its violent ways whenever it suits the entity.
Cdre (retd) Sajjad Ali Shah Bokhari
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2021