Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing flak after he said that his government started talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the aim of having the group lay down their weapons, local media said.
On Friday, Imran Khan had said that the government would “forgive” TTP members and they would become normal citizens” if they lay down arms.
Reacting to this statement, Pakistan People Party (PPP) rebuked Imran Khan for holding talks with banned TTP, terming the move similar to “sprinkling salt on the wounds of dead soldiers’ families”.
Why Pakistan’s parliament was not taken into confidence over this ‘sensitive issue’, the party questioned.
Usama Khilji, Director of advocacy, and research group stated that some Pakistani militant groups have offered ceasefire, but their crimes must never be forgiven by the state. “Clearly, the life of Pakistani citizens is not worth much to the PM who has continued to advocate for negotiations with terrorist groups.”
“Terrorism wreaked havoc in Pakistan for nearly a decade, killing over 80,000 Pakistani civilians, policemen, soldiers, and children. What gives the PM the right to forgive butchers so easily?”
PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman asked Khan whether Imran Khan “asked the parliament what we think about that”. PPP also called the government to clarify in the parliament the ‘terms’ under which the talks were being taken place with TTP.
PPP’s secretary general Nayyar Bokhari said that Khan’s announcement about talks being held with TTP was a ‘very sensitive statement’ and also demanded that a session of parliament should be called immediately to discuss it, reported Dawn.
He pointed out that parliament had been ‘bypassed’ and questioned, “Why were parliament and political parties kept uninformed about negotiations with the TTP?”
Experts have cautioned Pakistan to tread carefully in the wake of recent developments in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover and asked Islamabad to avoid oversimplifying the Afghan issue.
Recently, TTP leader Mufti Wali Noor Mehsud, in an exclusive interview with Japanese media outlet Mainichi Shimbun, welcomed the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan and said that “we are hopeful for a strong relationship between the two of us”.
Experts believe that the recent developments in Afghanistan have encouraged the TTP members and they want to realise Pashtuns’ rule in Pakistan.
BDST: 2025 HRS, OCT 05, 2021