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PTI thinks over Talban’s negotiation offer

Lahore: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf has taken note of the talks offer made by Tehreek e Taliban. According to press reports the Information Minister Mr. Kaira has been quoted as saying that government prefers dialogue to military operations. The Awami National Party has also expressed its readiness for talks. PTI feels that it is good these parties have finally recognized that negotiations should never be ruled out in a situation where a nation is faced with internal insurgencies. It may be recalled that PTI Chairman had as far back as December 2009 offered to mediate in this conflict. He had clearly said then that whatever agreement is arrived at would be within the constitution and be ratified by the Parliament but there was no response from the government.

Pakistan Tehreek Insaf’s view on the current talks offer by TTP also is that while it is couched in a language that shows little prospect of a move forward, it must be considered seriously by the government. While totally rejecting and strongly condemning the use of violence and terrorism by TTP to achieve its political ends, PTI believes that the path of negotiations must never be closed. Most conflicts in the modern era have not ended through outright military victories but through negotiated settlements. It is for this reason that the party has been advocating peace talks within the ambit of the constitution of Pakistan as a means to move forward.

Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf has also long believed that partnership with the United States in the war in Afghanistan is a major reason for the increase of militancy and terrorism. It has given the militants a Jihadi narrative where they have been able to sell this conflict as war between Islam and Infidels. Removal of this Jihadi narrative will rob the militants of a weapon that has allowed them to motivate suicide bombers with the resultant havoc that has led to the loss of nearly 35000 innocent lives.

The possible negotiations with the TTP must have at its core a three point agenda. 1) Militants would accept the constitution of Pakistan that already lays down that all laws would be in conformity with Quran and Sunnah. 2) They would renounce violence as a means to achieve their political ends. 3) They will not use Pakistan soil to launch attacks on a foreign soil. If this is made the basis of talks it is possible to move forward.

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