Gen Faiz wanted to bring TTP back to Pakistan: minister

Published February 19, 2023
Federal Minister for Human Rights Riaz Pirzada during an exclusive interview with Dawn News on Sunday. —DawnNewsTV
Federal Minister for Human Rights Riaz Pirzada during an exclusive interview with Dawn News on Sunday. —DawnNewsTV

Federal Human Rights Minister Riaz Pirzada has claimed that former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed wanted to bring the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) back to the country.

He made these remarks on Dawn News programme ‘Doosra Rukh’, which will air at 7pm today.

Pakistan has of late seen an uptick in terrorist activities, with an attack on the Karachi police chief’s office on Friday night being the latest incident.

The hours-long combat between terrorists and law-enforcement agencies, at the office located at Sharea Faisal, left four people martyred and 18 injured while all three terrorists were reported to be killed.

The PTI and the incumbent government have been trading blame for the security situation in the country. The coalition set-up has said that the PTI’s move to enter into dialogue with militants was “faulty” and it was “never endorsed” by parliament.

The statement from the federal minister comes a day after PTI leader Shireen Mazari claimed that ex-army chief retired General Qamar Javed Bajwa wanted to “resettle” TTP members in the country.

However, Mazari’s party chief Imran Khan defended the plan earlier this month.

“When the Afghan war ended… some 30,000 to 40,000 Pakistani tribal fighters wanted to come back,” Imran said, adding all stakeholders, inclu­ding local leaders, had been taken on board regarding their resettlement in the country.

“The PTI government had two options: either kill all of them or reach an agreement with them and allow them to settle in the province. These returning fighters had many issues that needed to be resolved for peace in the province,” he said.

In the interview today, Pirzada claimed that an in-camera briefing was held in which army generals proposed to bring TTP back to Pakistan.

“However, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif talked on it … they said that a number of popular leaders were martyred by TTP, including Benazir Bhutto sahiba.”

In response to a question regarding who made this proposition, the minister said: “At that time, Gen Faiz had suggested that they [TTP] should be brought into the mainstream but it backfired.”

F-9 rape case

Talking about Islamabad’s F-9 Park rape case, Pirzada said that criminals were roaming about at night. “The situation is such that […] sometimes poverty and sometimes animal instinct takes over […] so people should protect themselves from such incidents.”

Earlier this month, a 24-year-old woman was raped at the F-9 Park, located in a commercial locality. The attack shocked the nation and renewed questions over the safety of women in the country.

During the interview today, the federal human rights minister, in response to a question on measures that can be taken to prevent such incidents, said that the foremost way to prevent such attacks was the proper upbringing of children at home.

“Good mothers should do good upbringing. We have some limits regarding children going out at night. Not just women, men too get mugged at night.”

Pirzada further said that “people have to protect themselves from such incidents […] the way they say you should protect yourselves while driving”.

Missing persons issue

Additionally, on the issue of missing persons, the minister said that the real protectors of human rights were the courts because they were responsible for punishment and relief.

“This is why I say that in the cases of missing persons, there is something from both sides. In some cases, people who were used go missing … others go into hiding in the mountains or other countries and then they are declared missing.

“This is a debatable point and has pros and cons,” he stated.

The minister added that until and unless the law and order situation in the country improves, the issue won’t be solved.

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