LAHORE: May I ask the government why it is in talks with the Taliban, as claimed in a report on your website on December 10? What possible purpose could be served by talking to people who are nothing but animals, who have killed thousands of our brave soldiers, paramilitary troopers, policemen and ordinary civilians? May I also ask the members of the so-called ghairat brigade, as well as their proxies in the media, how can they justify talking to killers of over 30,000 Pakistanis?
The fact of the matter is that, those who think the Taliban will simply lay down their arms and return to society as peaceful members, are living in a fool’s paradise. They will not do this, not when the Americans leave Afghanistan nor if the Pakistani government strikes a ‘peace’ deal with them.
What shocks me most is the naïve reasoning employed by the government and the establishment in this matter. Have they not seen what became of such ‘deals’ in the past? What did the deal in Swat achieve, other than granting power to a bloodthirsty scoundrel with the name of Mullah Fazlullah, so much so that the Taliban reached all the way to Buner district?
And what did any of the peace deals achieve in Waziristan? All that the Taliban use them for is to regroup and consolidate their position and ranks, before violating them with impunity again. Pakistanis who back such peace deals should be reminded of these ground realities. Also, they should be told that the Taliban want to establish a theocracy in Pakistan and that they will not rest till they do this. In that regard, talking to them to establish a peace settlement will only serve to strengthen them and embolden them towards thinking that they can quite possibly achieve this reality.
And, if and when that happens, I shudder to think of what will become of most Pakistanis and their way of life. Are we prepared to live the way the Afghans lived in the 1990s, when the Taliban managed to set-up a government in Kabul? If our answer to that is ‘yes’, then we should support talking to the Taliban. However, if our answer is a resounding ‘no’, then we need to make ourselves heard so those in the government and the establishment understand that the people of Pakistan are not in favour of such a move.
In this scenario, we should forget what America will think of our actions, and instead, think of our own self-interest.
Omar S Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2011.
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