By Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam
14 April, 2014
The latest national narrative of Pakistan asserts that the ongoing attacks and suicide bombings in the country are not handiworks of Taliban or their alliances but, rather, of other unknown forces which the government is trying to trace out with the help of Taliban. But the question is, if the Talban are not behind these attacks and bombings, what purpose does the ongoing Pakistani government’s dialogue with them serve? When the government strongly believes that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has turned into a sincere well-wisher of the country, then why this long, tiring and monotonous talk with them?
On the contrary, Pakistani Taliban has, for the first time, announced that their official media outlet named “Umar Media” has been launched. It is worth mentioning that this Talibani official website used to be just a blog in its initial days, but it has now turned into a full-fledged web portal. Just a cursory glance at this website will patently reveal what the real Taliban stands for and what are their true views on the Pakistani state, army and security agencies. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan calls the Pak (pure) Pakistan army as “Napak (impure) army” and openly acknowledges responsibility for all the atrocities that have been perpetrated against the Pakistani army during the last few years. Now when the Tehreek-e-Taliban is fully enjoying one-sided advantages and privileges, it might have mended their stands on the Pakistani army. However, it has not yet announced any such amendments on their official website “Umar Media”, which is replete with extremist and very inflexible pronouncements. From this, it is explicitly clear that Pakistani Taliban has boldly denied any possibility of amendments in its primary objectives and attitudes. If the situation continues to be so, scores of innocent Pakistanis will be unceasingly killed on a daily basis despite the ongoing talks between the government and Taliban.
After Professor Ibrahim, an important member of the dialogue committee has acknowledged that there is a deadlock-like situation in talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), there should be no ambiguity in the matter. Given the government’s flexibility and generosity towards the Taliban, it seems that the responsibility of finalising the talks will be assigned to the army, while it is probable that the Taliban will put the entire blame on the army if the process fails. However, the question remains as to what did the government achieve, except for a temporary halt to war, by conducting the peace talks with the militant group of Taliban?
While the Pakistani government, according to conflicting reports, has released dozens of the Taliban prisoners, not a single prisoner has yet been set free from the Taliban’s clutches. Rather, Taliban is now denying its grip on the non-militant prisoners who are under their arrest, as it was revealed by the Taliban’s official statement issued before the resumption of the talks. This suggests that the Taliban’s participation in the talks was very well-thought out and designed to serve its larger causes. It was fully aware that the Nawaz Sharif government had plethora of problems to deal with and, therefore, it would hope nothing more than an immediate and temporary end to war in the country. Also, Taliban very quickly made the best use of the conflicts between the civil government and security agencies.
It is noteworthy that when some media outlets called for the determining of two-sided priorities in the peace talks, both the government and Taliban declared them elements averse to the peace dialogue. They went to the extent of asserting that such elements are not only anti-Pakistan but also enemies of Islam. Nonetheless, even before the resumption of the talks, it was clear from the government’s apologetic treatment with the Taliban that it was a matter of giving more privileges and time to the extremists rather than attempting to end the war. As a result, we witnessed that many Taliban demands that were fatal for the national interests have now been fulfilled.
It is patently clear that the government of Pakistan wishes to release the Taliban prisoners whose freedom will prove to be very lethal. The security agencies have their own reservations with regard to such steps leading to internal conflict between the government and the army. On the other hand, the civil government holds the short-sighted view that if the Taliban and its alliances are given concessions, they will turn out to be grateful for that and will not harm the interests of the Pakistani state. Thus, the government believes, all the armed expeditions of the militant group will be directed to its neighbouring country, Afghanistan.
In fact, it is nothing more than a childish wish, because the Taliban and its alliances have never taken geographical boundaries into their militant religious consideration. If we take cognizance of the daily activities, official statements, publications, speeches and pronouncements of this outfit, they will honestly tell us what plans they have devised to achieve their objectives ranging from an armed Jihad in Pakistan to the elimination of the religious minorities from the region. At a time when the two parties of the peace treaty are pretending to wish well for each other, Taliban and all their alliances should have put an end to their atrocities at least for this limited period of time. But it is not the case. From the Jihadist blogs functioning in Pakistan to the websites and other extremist media outlets, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planting the seeds of terrorism, in a move designed to elicit evil emotions against the security agencies of Pakistan. Compared to the past, their style and objectives have now grown bitterer making it clear that they are not at all concerned with the ongoing talks with the government.
Keeping the circumstances in view, the prime concern for the Pakistani government should be controlling the invincible and growing power of the extremists and their supporters, but the government does not appear to be capable of doing so. As for the civil government, it has terribly failed to overcome the turbulent situation created by certain reservations it has. However, the security agencies, after a long span of time, have arrived at the conclusion that giving concessions and time to extremist elements will turn out to be a losing proposition for the government. It is the decisive time that can change the fate of the country and citizens. It’s time the civil government and security agencies decide whether what direction they would wish to give to their nation; a safe and peaceful nation or an extremist and destructive one.
The author of nine books including the recent "Punjabi Taliban", Mujahid Hussain writes a regular weekly column for New Age Islam. He is also chief of New Age Islam Brussels Bureau. He has been contributing to leading papers as an investigative journalist for about two decades. His writings cover a vast panorama of topics concerning political and societal existence of Pakistan, a nation passing through difficult straits since a short time after its birth. With terrorism and security issues at local, regional, and global levels as his special area of study in recent years, Mujahid Hussain has earned a sizable readership in serious circles in Pakistan and abroad. Follower of an independent, non-partisan, and objective way of thinking, the author offers honest analysis of the challenges threatening communities, nations, and humanity at large.
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