Kill us and we will still talk to you

Published: September 16, 2013

Top civil and military officials offer funeral prayers for fallen army officers at Chaklala garrison. PHOTO: ISPR/FILE

It is difficult to escape the impression that the Taliban in Pakistan, be they the Punjabi element or the TTP, have the government on the back foot. On September 15, two senior army officers were killed in Dir, an attack that was almost immediately claimed by the TTP. Practically simultaneously, the TTP are demanding that there be ‘confidence building measures’ such as the withdrawal of the army back to its bases in the tribal areas, and the release of Taliban prisoners. The loss of two highly regarded senior officers in an attack that demonstrated that the Taliban have excellent intelligence as well as the ability to quickly act on it in the form of a pre-placed IED, is proof-positive that far from being defeated or even neutralised they are a potent fighting force in the Swat valley. At the diplomatic level they have forestalled any thought the government might have had of an operation against them by announcing a willingness to engage in talks, at a stroke rendering the government hamstrung, damned if it does and damned if it does not.

The political response to the attack in Dir is illustrative of the weakness of the government, both at federal and provincial levels. An indication of the confusion that prevails with regard to how we are to deal with the terrorism was the fact that several of our ministers along with others in place of power and authority in the government and politics expressed their condolences but did not condemn the TTP for carrying out the attack. Many simply did not have the spine to point a finger at the terrorist group that they are now apparently in thrall to — a group that has killed tens of thousands of their fellow countrymen over the years, the stakeholders that have driven a stake through the national heart without a word of demurral from those who now seek appeasement. A group that is able to demand, probably with a reasonable degree of confidence, the release of men dedicated to the overthrow of the democratic state. How many more of the upper echelons of the military are we to see murdered before the state makes a robust response? Time to walk the walk Mr prime minister, if you can because the time for merely talking the talk is over.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • lalai
    Sep 17, 2013 - 2:17AM

    Peace is always ensured when your stick is bigger than that of your enemy. Government must understand this universal truth.

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  • csmann
    Sep 17, 2013 - 2:40AM

    Taliban,moreover says,that withdrawl of the army and release of 5000 terrorists is to be considered just a confidence-building measure ;and they will put id their demands at the negotiations.

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  • PiS
    Sep 17, 2013 - 4:22AM

    This is the great advice I read somewhere that reads “a good Talban is a dead Talban”. We should make it our official policy now!

    (ET I hope you allow it because there is no other way to talk about these savages anymore).

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  • AliKuliKhan
    Sep 17, 2013 - 9:30AM

    The politicians cannot be blamed for exploring the option of talking to TTP. This strategy emanates from fear and the fact that army is not under civilian control.Under these circumstances the government should approach US for help to eliminate TTP leadership through extensive use of drones.

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  • raji
    Sep 17, 2013 - 2:58PM

    govt is talking about peace because it is defeated..

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  • naved murtaza
    Sep 17, 2013 - 3:54PM

    Salute to our Brave soldiers who gave their life for our Country.

    Naved

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  • M. Emad
    Sep 17, 2013 - 4:34PM

    Who created these Taliban/ (Punjabi – non-Punjabi) TTP etc groups?

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  • SBK-42
    Sep 19, 2013 - 5:58AM

    Looks like the ‘illustrious & distiguished’ career of Gen Kayani, perhaps selected by Mush to succeed him for his meekness, is going to end with a whimper as careers of all yesmen are destined to end?

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