K-P politicians push for talks with TTP

Want Taliban engaged during election campaign to avoid suicide blasts.

Peer Muhammad February 11, 2013
K-P politicians hopeful to engage in peace talks with TTP. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Politicians from the militancy-hit areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) are pushing for negotiations with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — at least during the election campaign to prevent the upcoming polls from being sabotaged by suicide blasts.

Sources said that politicians from the coalition government were scared of the fragile security situation in K-P during the elections.

It would be a major challenge for politicians to run election campaigns in sensitive areas of the province if the Taliban were not engaged in an effective dialogue process, they said.

The sources said that encouraging Maulana Fazlur Rehman to take initiative for dialogue is also a part of this strategy, who TTP wants to be a guarantor for a peace deal with the government.

“We have lost our workers and leaders in the past and similar incidents could not be ruled out in future too. That’s why we are encouraging talks with the Taliban”, said an ANP leader on the condition of anonymity.

The ANP senior leader and Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour has said publicly that he would forgive the blood of his younger brother Bashir Bilour if TTP stops further bloodshed.

Bashir Bilour, the senior provincial minister of K-P and one of the most vocal campaigners against Taliban was killed in a suicide attack last year.

Many elected members cannot visit their constituencies for fear of being targeted by extremists.

“The present situation is not favourable for campaigning in our province, but we have to face the situation and contest elections at any cost,” said PPP MNA Noor Alam Khan, whose constituency NA-3 Peshawar adjoins Khyber Agency, Mohmand Agency, and Shabqadar.

Khan said that in view of the fragile security situation, the major meetings during election campaign should be held within the protected compounds to avoid any untoward incident.

He said that they back any initiative with Taliban for bringing peace in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2013.


Khalid | 8 years ago | Reply

To talk with any party, few things need to happen or are presumed to happen.

First is the status of the counter parties. In this case one is Pakistani Govt. and other is TTP. If the talk is about bringing peace and stability then we immediately concede that TTP has a right to govern the terms of peace process. This means that the state of Pakistan concedes that TTP is not criminal but an equal partner with conflicting interests. In the long run, this practice will create various stakeholders encroaching on the state's writ, if it is already not the case.

Second thing to happen is to come up with agenda points that one needs to talk over. What is the agends of TTP? Do we know that? Moreover, what agenda points the government want to take into the talks? Do we have clarity on that?

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