Despite Malala attack, Imran Khan stands ground on political solution to terror

Published: October 10, 2012
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Real success would have been achieved if areas returned to normalcy immediately after operations ended, says Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Real success would have been achieved if areas returned to normalcy immediately after operations ended, says Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan reached Peshawar on Wednesday to meet gunshot victim Malala Yousafzai where he reiterated his stance on finding a “political solution” to the rising terrorism in the country.

Khan has stood against the ongoing military operations in tribal areas as well as the US drone strikes, maintaining that these tactics only help in producing more terrorists rather than eliminating them. This stance has made Khan the subject of massive criticism where his critics have dubbed him “Taliban” Khan claiming that he supports the terrorists.

The party leader stressed on Wednesday that the military operations being carried out for the past eight years have failed, but maintained that a military option should be retained as part of a bigger political process.

“Even in Swat, such a huge military operation was carried out, but people are still being killed over there. The military operation was termed successful but the military is still sitting there instead of a civilian government,” Khan stated.

“Real success would have been achieved if the areas returned to normalcy immediately after the operations ended.”

Quoting government figures, Khan said that Rs90 billion were being wasted every month on the military operations.

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Reader Comments (50)

  • Talha
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:37PM

    Apologists have ruined this country.Inability to unconditionally condemn terrorism has led to a society where terrorists are regarded as ‘religious heroes’.Why are always denunciations of terrorism always vague and ambiguous? Why not come out and say that terrorism is terrorism irrespective of which sect does it.Diverting attention to drones or iraq won’t excuse the attack on a 14 year old child,it won’t excuse the numerous bomb blasts carried out by religious extremists.
    This excuse making and justification providing service to the terrorists by our religious apologists must end if this country is to progress.Recommend

  • ikhlaas
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:38PM

    khan is right i wish some of these pseudo liberals understand. Military operations are having no affect. Our society is getting polarized. The key to peace is with the tribal people

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  • Kamal
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:50PM

    IK is the only leader among the mainstream parties who had the heart to visit the poor girl in person. Get well soon, Malala.Recommend

  • sabi
    Oct 10, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Imran Khan you have no moral ground to look into the eyes of this innocent victom of beasts, that you are defending shamelessly.You have lost the oppurtunity goodbye to your politics.

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  • sabi
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:11PM

    You keep on taking side with taliban we will keep on opposing you let us see who wins.

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  • Abrar R
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:30PM

    These psycophants are products of the drone attacks and military operations. Either you wipe each and everyone out .. which is next to impossible, or u reach a political settlement .. which is the only solution.

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  • karma
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:37PM

    That girl has more guts than Myself + Imran Khan + His party combined. She named taliban & shamed taliban.

    She has a clarity of mind and thought..Recommend

  • hbk
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:40PM

    imran khan is the man with a solution. why don’t his critics and other parties give an alternate solution? they criticize without any logic. swat operation was declared a victory over taliban militants and yet this brutal attack takes place there, where is the military? which success? only one thing gets proved here that military operations have failed.

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  • M_ALI
    Oct 10, 2012 - 10:53PM

    Imran Khan has never said he is going to meet with these inhumane people and negotiate with them, he is a leader and thinks long term. Imran khan has always emphasized on negotiating with the tribal leaders and not these Murderers. Malala is a Brave girl and a true reflection of our women even in areas like Swat.

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  • Timour
    Oct 10, 2012 - 11:09PM

    Can he explain two things:

    How do you negotiate with someone who has a gun pointed to your head and has no idea of what Islam actually is and justifies shooting of 14 year old girls as a great thing.

    Who has killed more people and our own army people, Taliban or America and Drones ?
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  • Aijaz Haider
    Oct 10, 2012 - 11:12PM

    “PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan reached Peshawar on Wednesday to meet gunshot victim Malala Yousafzai where he reiterated his stance on finding a “political solution” to the rising terrorism in the country.”.
    The only solution of rising terrorism in Pakistan is immediate and total elimination of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Sorry, I disagree with IK on this issue. I am an optimist but IK’s “political solution” is only a dream which, in my opinion, will never come true.
    Regards.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 10, 2012 - 11:20PM

    “Even in Swat, such a huge military
    operation was carried out, but people
    are still being killed over there. The
    military operation was termed
    successful but the military is still
    sitting there instead of a civilian
    government,”

    In hindsight it’s apparent that the vaunted Swat Offensive was long on PR and short on military. Months of talking about it — small fraction of your military involved in the operation — allow ready escape route to the Taliban — didn’t kill or capture anyone of consequence. I would argue the only real success in this operation was bilking the American taxpayers. In short – chasing the Taliban from one area of Pakistan to the next doesn’t accomplish anything and it’s inappropriate to use one inept strategy to justify another.

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  • R2D2
    Oct 10, 2012 - 11:32PM

    You cannot reason with blockheads or barbarians. As long as we have blockheaded politicians and barbarians we cannot address this problemRecommend

  • Saad Aziz
    Oct 11, 2012 - 12:06AM

    i am voting for imranRecommend

  • Oct 11, 2012 - 12:31AM

    I agree there has to be a political solution BUT how can you negotiate with those who want you be their slave or dead?

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  • Orfeo
    Oct 11, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Political solution will only happen if Taliban are willing to come to the table. They won’t come to the table because they believe they have the upper hand. To bring them to the negotiations table for political solution, Pakistanis would have to forgive and forget and give them some concessions. The terrorists may demand a role/part in the government. Which means that public and rulers will be exposed to their extremists agendas. “If you don’t listen to us we will pick up arms again” will be their tactics. Do we want this? The only solution is concise, complete, focused military operation which has the “unified” backing of all political parties including PTI and all officers and soldiers of the armed forces. The goal of such an operation should be to eliminate TTP and all other terrorist organizations and NOT to simply relocate them to a new area or to Afghanistan. I am a staunch supporter of Imran Khan and PTI, however I don’t agree with the “political solution” option when it comes to dealing with the Taliban and terrorists in general.

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  • Waqas
    Oct 11, 2012 - 12:54AM

    No wonder PTI is losing votes! I have been loyal supporter of PTI, but of late, I noticed IK never condemned the barbaric acts of Talibans nor does he wants to fight the talibans. Now I understand why he is called Taliban Khan!

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  • Kaspar
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:01AM

    Will Imran Khan explain what political dialogue can take place with people who only understand one language: that of force? Yes, under one condition they will go for dialogue: when they are cornered so badly that they are unable to continue their miltancy and lose all hope of a ‘victory.’ Terorrism in Sri Lanka ended when the Tamil Tiigers were subdued by force. Not before it. What you need to udnerstand, Mr. Imran, is that the militants who want to bring in an outdated, autocratic theocracy and who regard everyone except themselve as kafirs, are the biggest threat to the country. Drone attacks is a minor issue in comparison. They have proved it, if proof is needed, by opposing your march against the drone attacks! If you still do not understand the situation, we can only pray for you. May God help you!! Further, you are yet to condemn the militants unequivocally, unconditionally and without reservation. what are you waiting for? things have come to such a point that you are either against them or with them. wake up before this fire ignited by them consumes the country.

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  • Ijaz Mir
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:05AM

    Imran Khan you have disappointed me and million of your supporters in Pakistan for not condemning this terrorists act. But recommending to negotiate with terrorists.You have not condemned this hideous crime. It is clear that if you are in power this country will be Islamic fundamentalist of Pakistan. I think we are better off with looter than live under the banner of Jhahial fundus.Now if you go and see the victim will not change your position.
    please stop your drone ,drone drone drama,We are sick of you. Allaha bless Pakistan

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  • Sarfraz Khan
    Oct 11, 2012 - 1:25AM

    People who defend drone attacks talk as if these bombs bring children like Malala back to life. When in fact are as deadly as the Taliban. We should be condemning any and all attacks on human life and liberty.

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  • Oct 11, 2012 - 1:53AM

    @Ijaz Mir:
    Quoting government figures, Khan said that Rs90 billion were being wasted every month on the military operations.

    One way to save would have been to cut down some of the staff, starting 60 years back. Recommend

  • Oct 11, 2012 - 1:56AM

    @Ijaz Mir:
    “Imran Khan you have disappointed me and million of your supporters….”
    What made you say that there were millions of them?

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  • gp65
    Oct 11, 2012 - 2:13AM

    @ikhlaas: ” The key to peace is with the tribal people

    Wrong. The root cause is not drones which are barely a 5 year phenomenon but radicalization which has been going on for 40 years. Key to peace is therefore to
    1) monitor the madrassahs and mosques so that they are not spewing hatred
    2) Change the textbooks so that they are not spewing hatred
    3) Identify and take action against radicalized people in eforcement agencies such as army, ISI, FC and police
    4) Drwa up guidelines such that hate speech is not permitted on media (note not every difference of opinion that offends someone qqualifies as hate speech. Hate speech is when people are asked to kill or physically harm someone whose ideas are considered ‘unacceptable’.
    5) Agrgressively prosecte the people who run hate factories.
    6) Restore the blasphemy law to what it was before Zia – so as to prevent abuse and oppression of minorities
    7) Remove the law introduced by Bhutto calling Ahmadis non-Muslim.

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  • Ijaz Mir
    Oct 11, 2012 - 2:28AM

    @ abid P Khan
    Please clarify , If you are working for Imran’s Damage control ? This is general forum, read comments in other papers and what general people are talking that they are disappointed with Imran Khan. World is shocked about This hideous crime and Imran Khan wants Negotiation.
    Shame on such leader.

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  • abdul karim KHAN
    Oct 11, 2012 - 2:40AM

    i am sorry khan if yuo do not stand for peple so you w/taliban.no more support for you.

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  • faraz
    Oct 11, 2012 - 2:46AM

    Unbelievable; he is still against Swat operation. Negotiations were held with Taliban and the disgusting Nizam e Adl was passed, but Taliban refused to surrender. Does Imran even understand the concept of state. Why do we pay tax? Why do we have army and police?Recommend

  • Aviator
    Oct 11, 2012 - 3:08AM

    @hbk:

    IK is deluded if he seriously thinks he can negotiate with the Taliban. The Taliban want nothing less than the complete destruction of Pakistan as we know it, and restart it with a warped version of their ‘theocracy’, a glimpse of which we saw in Swat in 2007. How on Earth are we going to negotiate with them: what concessions will they be given? IK, worryingly, does not have an answer to this.

    The reason militancy still exists in Swat, is because they are being allowed to operate there by the government; the ISI believes it can micro-manage them and serve their interests: having a foothold in Afghanistan.

    So in effect, the answer lies in taking control over the ISI, because right now, they are a law onto themselves. Will Imran Khan take them on?

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  • ALI
    Oct 11, 2012 - 3:44AM

    It was happen after Imran Kahan Peace March, President OBHAMA ordered CIA to Kill the Malala Yousafza in order to reduce the pressure due to Imran Khan peace March against drone. As Obhama want to show there is Talban so my Drone policy is not wrong. \

    We must understand President Obhama is most powerful person and He has licensee to kill. He gave permission to kill people in Drone attacks. By giving order to kill MALALA the whole world media will forget the Imran peace march and will start to talk about terrorist Talban. I hate Talban I am not supporting them, But we must see who will be the beneficiary to that murder. Of course Talban not. But only Obhama as there is election in US soon,

    Why Talban not killed her in last three years as she was there, Why they select to kill this time??????

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  • Adil
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:15AM

    Its funny how people sitting away from the tribal areas are commenting that the solution to war is a military option..its NOT. I hail from this area and drones are in turn giving birth to terrorists or as they say avengers. What if you come home and find your family killed just because someone suspicious lived two houses away..Malala is a hero but IK is spot on with this policy and pseudo liberals get up from the comfort of your homes and face the real world.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:40AM

    Taliban Khan went to Peshawar to pour salt on her wounds.

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  • patriot
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:47AM

    Why is imran khan and his PTI supporters forgetting that before the operation in Swat was launched there had been thorough negotiations with militants. The peace agreement of kp govt with militants was criticised by all in world and even in our assemblies. But for the sake of peace on its land the govt resisted the pressure, signed agreement, agreed to their main demand of shariah in malaknd. But soon afterwards, the militants breached the agreement, started killing the innocent people, moved to Buner and vowed to overtake other districts and even islamabad. Then there was no option but to support the military action. Even though people suffered due to such a large scale operation (something which pti supporters r desperately trying to cash on in swat), ultimately peace has been restored. Small scale sporadic incidents like Malala attack would take time and support of all stakeholders to control. The fact is that Mr khan’s taliban policy is proving to be flawed and confused. By getting into alliance with jumat islami, which has done nothing but to promote militancy from afghan war to MMA when malakand was made a hub of the militants (ramnents of whom attacked malala), imran khan is taking his supporters towards disillusionment.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 11, 2012 - 4:58AM

    ” i am voting for imran” Saad Aziz,
    Please do vote and also convince few more supporters to vote for him. His empty ballot boxes will create doubts in minds of impartial observers. Few hundred votes in each consituency will clear any doubt about free and fair elections.

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  • You should get a Medal
    Oct 11, 2012 - 7:40AM

    @ALI:
    “President OBHAMA ordered CIA to Kill the Malala Yousafza”

    Firstly Obama has more important things to do like running a country and winning an election where the main topics are Economy, Healthcare, Military Expenditure, Foriegn Policy. How does this helps Obama in his election ? Pakistan in itself is a footnote in the election race. Also a president doesnt sit in his office thinking, oh ya today i will order the killing of a girl in Pakistan to win the election.

    God help Pakistan with people like you. Your indication that this could affect the US elections is the biggest joke in the world. My heart goes out to this girl who is stuck in a country full of extremists and the rest of the people are either in denial, apolagists or afraid. One would be hard pressed to find Pakistanis that believe in their country first and follow their religion in their homes.

    If I had to choose between my country and my faith (if that situation ever arose), I would choose my country, my people but that is not only people from my faith. I wonder how many Pakistanis can actually say that.

    This dire situation wasnt created by anyone else but Pakistanis. Accept that and make amens, if that doesnt happen Pakistan will end up in the dustbin of history.

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  • sabi
    Oct 11, 2012 - 9:11AM

    gp65

    agreed 100%

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  • sabi
    Oct 11, 2012 - 9:12AM

    gp65

    agreed 100% on your suggestions.

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  • Hassan
    Oct 11, 2012 - 9:51AM

    Talking is not the rule of Law as preached by İK, these guys are killing innocent civilians, slitting the throats of our jawans.

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  • zaineb
    Oct 11, 2012 - 12:55PM

    It was happen after Imran Kahan Peace March, President OBHAMA ordered CIA to Kill the Malala Yousafza in order to reduce the pressure due to Imran Khan peace March against drone. As Obhama want to show there is Talban so my Drone policy is not wrong. \
    We must understand President Obhama is most powerful person and He has licensee to kill. He gave permission to kill people in Drone attacks. By giving order to kill MALALA the whole world media will forget the Imran peace march and will start to talk about terrorist Talban. I hate Talban I am not supporting them, But we must see who will be the beneficiary to that murder. Of course Talban not. But only Obhama as there is election in US soon,
    Why Talban not killed her in last three years as she was there, Why they select to kill this time??????

    addition: if this is done 4 their favor,so y would they ruin it by an incident like this??

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  • sreeja
    Oct 11, 2012 - 2:51PM

    That is the wackiest conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard.-zaineb.

    Maybe Khan is just suffering from a disease where he wants his views to be “different” from the rest. It doesn’t matter if he is right or wrong as long as his view is “unique”!

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  • Hamad
    Oct 11, 2012 - 3:12PM

    Taliban attacked the little girl because she was against their idealogy.They will change everybody to their way.No point to negotiate with them

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  • Shah
    Oct 12, 2012 - 5:40AM

    Seems most of the Pakistanis, after reading the above comments, think we can eradicate TTP – I doubt this very much. Pak Army has been trying to do that for the last decade and the British Army, something similar, in Ireland for years – only way out, unfortunately, is to political solution. Pak Army is so useless that it couldn’t even find OBL in Pakistan – fighting TTP is impossible for them.

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  • Kaleem
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:00AM

    I protest over Khans statement about Swat. I have visited this heaven last year and found it entirely peaceful. Target killings do happen everywhere, Our Karachi leads this chart unfortunately and political leaders there are just doing “political dialogue” for 4 years.

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  • Pervaiz
    Oct 12, 2012 - 11:42AM

    Imran Khan should not talk about Malala and should be ashamed of himself in his implicit support for Talibans. His own children are studying in best schools in London and he is supporting monsters in Pakistan who want to take away right of education from poor and middle class kids.
    We can not win war against Talibans unless we marginalize secret Taliban supporters like Imran Khan and Hamid Gull among us.

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  • Kaspar
    Oct 12, 2012 - 3:37PM

    Assassination, it is said, is the extreme form of censorship! Will Imran Khan continue to bury his head in sand? In this day and age, no totalitarian ideology, whether based on religion or any other ideology, is likely to succeed. IK is simply wasting his capabilities, whatever they are, on promoting a line that has no chance of success with the miltants, by whatever name you may call them. Apart from IK, there are many so-called religious/political leaders, whose condemnation of the indefensible acts of Taliban is punctuated with ifs and buts. Remember IK, there are two dangers to this country: the corrupt elite, some of whom like to call themselves liberal and secular, but are nothing of the sort, and others who suffer from the malady of religious extremism. The later fanatics are as much a danger to the country and its people as the former corrupt leaders. You are focussing only on the corrupt leaders because they are the ones in power at present. Perhaps you think that the miltants are not a force to reckon with, as far as winning the election is concerned. But what are you going to do about them if you come to power? They will be an even harder nut to crack than the corrupt politicians you condemn day in and day out.

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  • Oct 12, 2012 - 3:39PM

    @Ijaz Mir:
    “@ abid P Khan
    Please clarify , If you are working for Imran’s Damage control ? This is general forum, read comments in other papers and what general people are talking that they are disappointed with Imran Khan.”

    1- What makes you assume that I meant IK has greater support than a milllion people?
    2- Are people supporting IK not allowed to express their opinion here?
    3- I am not from any Damage Control organisation.

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  • Aahjiz BayNawa
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:49PM

    Imran Khan’s stance takes into perspective the complexities of the situation. He rightly condemns attack on Malala; but realizes that military operations alone are not always successful. US intervention in Vietnam is a case in point. There is a need to realize that the Afghan militants and the so-called Taliban are not a monolithic group and do not share every aspect of their operations in complete unanimity. Whether Islamic or unIslamic, they have a deeply imbedded culture, which can only be changed by eliminating most of their supporters which run in millions. Eliminating them might not be practical and although possible will be no less barbaric than their tactics itself. Thus, the dilemma is how to deal with them. One possible approach could be to explore if they would restrict themselves within their areas and to have a ceasefire. Thereafter, ways would have to be found to influence their minds through education, formal and through media. Also, establishing peace in Afghanistan would be very congenial for which a broad-based representative government might prove to be helpful. (For this purpose, the Americans are already trying to engage the Afghan Taliban.) Imran realizes that peace, therefore, has to be negotiated and cannot be imposed through force alone.

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  • elementary
    Oct 13, 2012 - 2:05AM

    @gp65: Agree with the measures you have suggested.Would you not agree that all of these should have been the top priority of any elected political government. If yes, does it not leave one disgusted and disappointed at sitting government’s performance?

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  • Shahzad
    Oct 13, 2012 - 5:20AM

    @ikhlaas:
    Dont fight but atleast raise your voice against obscurantist. And also was our prophet a liberal or an authoritarian fascist or a communist.
    And please don’t condemn the Malala incident with qualifications , either it is an atrocity or not. Also see the definition of liberal.

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  • rockyou
    Oct 16, 2012 - 5:16PM

    aftar attack on malala i will not vote for imran khan.because he never force govnt and military to kill terroristr and kick them out all afghani animals back to thier country.
    i think pervez msuahrraf time will start again and imran will down because inmusharraf time he control these evils very well n he never afraid from them but for imran his part workers r more importent n not malala.

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  • freed
    Oct 19, 2012 - 12:43PM

    Imran is stuck between rock and hard place. He tried to thread the needle in appeasing the mullahs as well as public concerns for safety for political benefits. It becomes impossible task when mullahs sees nothing wrong with shooting their critics in head (even 14 year old female). Imran lost some luster in beng tenative in his response of repudiating this attack and attackers immediatly and unconditionaly.

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  • HA
    Oct 21, 2012 - 1:17PM

    if every threat to the country had a political solution then why have a standing army. the taliban are testing our strength to defend ourselves and are not interested in our ability to negotiate.

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