KARACHI: The Afghan government’s attempt to negotiate with the Taliban has reignited an old debate. Many suggest that the Pakistani government should follow a similar path. However, I think that a comparison between the two states cannot be made here. They are dealing with the same enemy, but their positions are different. US-led Nato forces occupying Afghanistan have always engaged warlords in dialogue. Similar attempts in Pakistan to strike peace with the militants have backfired as the militants have used these deals as a cover to regroup, rearm and become stronger. And eventually, once they are strong enough, they violate the agreement leaving Pakistan with no choice but to use force against them. I can say with certainty that the Pakistani population has lost its appetite for negotiations with people who kill innocent civilians, policemen and soldiers, and destroy infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and mosques in their war against the Pakistani state.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2010.
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