Militants seeking disarmament deserve normal life: Fawad

Backs PM Imran's desire to hammer out a reintegration deal with 'de-radicalised' militants for durable peace


Our Correspondent October 02, 2021
Fawad Chaudhry. Photo: Screengrab/File

ISLAMABAD:

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Saturday that people wanting to shun the path of violence deserved a chance to return to normal life.

In a video message, the information minister said the country had gone through an enormous ordeal as it sacrificed thousands of lives in the war against terrorism.

"The country has succeeded in defeating terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda in Pakistan and crushed India’s conspiracies against the country," he said and stressed that, "Now it is time to move forward. State policies are made in a specific background and situation."

He said now was high time had to shift focus towards security and orient the policies around stabilising the economy.

Commenting on the new geopolitical configurations after the fall of Kabul, the minister said PM Imran had given a new agenda of reintegration of militant elements into the mainstream, adding that hammering out a deal for disarmament and reintegration was crucial to ensuring durable peace.

Read As talks advance, TTP announces ceasefire

"More than 3000 disgruntled Baloch youth had surrendered arms and rejoined the national mainstream," Fawad said, describing the surrender as a vital step that would "save another generation from terrorism and violence, and pave the way for stronger Pakistan".

He said the top leadership of other political parties including PPP and PML-N was in the hands of "political novices" like Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maryam Safdar who had no experience and could not understand the complexities of global politics.

The minister was throwing weight behind Prime Minister Imran Khan's earlier statement in which he revealed that the government was in talks with some groups of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Prime Minister Imran said in an interview with TRT World that the negotiations were being conducted in Afghanistan, adding that dialogue was the only solution and the government would “forgive” the members if an agreement was reached.

He further said that about 3,000 people in Balochistan, who were a victim of Indian conspiracies, had now returned. Similarly, he added, there are individuals in various splinter groups of TTP who wanted to honour their pledge of allegiance to the country.

"The principle, which Prime Minister Imran Khan had put forth, is to bring back people, who were derailed from Pakistan, in the mainstream life in the purview of our Constitution and law," the minister stressed.

Earlier, the prime minister had said that he was expecting a deal to come out of the talks but “again nothing is certain”.

Read more Govt aware of ‘good, bad’ Taliban: Rashid

The premier said he endorsed a non-military approach to it, and as a politician, believed political dialogue was the way ahead. "We forgive them and they can become normal citizens.”

Following the premier's revelation, the TTP announced a ceasefire, from October 1 to October 20. They also said that the ceasefire deadline could be extended if the negotiation process progressed successfully.

A tribal leader from North Waziristan said that the TTP had put forward three demands, including de-merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata); permission to commanders for carrying weapons and release of prisoners.

The tribal leader added that some of the conditions had been agreed upon.

According to sources, an 11-member TTP delegation was holding the talks with the government, while some “influential” Afghan Taliban leaders and other tribal elders were playing the role of mediator.

 

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