Talking to the Taliban

Published: May 23, 2013

LAHORE: This is with reference to Ejaz Haider’s piece “Beware of negotiating with the TTP” (May 22). The piece is quite suggestive of certain basic elements for would-be talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Are we simply going to ask highly motivated outlaws to put down their arms and join the mainstream of the country’s politics? It would be very naive of them to accept it and likewise, the government of Pakistan then giving them a free hand to propagate their agenda openly to achieve their nefarious objectives, if at all they agree with the government.

There are certain other questions which also arise. Which faction of the TTP will be engaged in talks or will the government individually contact each faction or ask these elements to approach the government for talks? Will the government and participating political parties use the carrot-and-stick method to woo these elements in their entirety and will this approach yield desirable, productive results? These are a few conceivable ideas one could present for brainstorming, and particularly for Mr Ejaz Haider to consider so that he can comment on them.

K Salim Jahangir

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2013.

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