Prime Minister of Pakistan offered peace talks to outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan during the month of January 2014. The government formed four members committee for peace talks with TTP and in turn TTP nominated five members committee for the proposed dialogue with government including PTI chief Imran Khan, Mufti Kefayat Ullah, Maulana Sami Ul Haq, Professor Ibrahim and Maulana Abdul Aziz, however, the former two refused to represent the Taliban.
TTP nominated committee members visited North Waziristan Agency and hold rounds of meeting with TTP Central Shura (Assembly). Committee members after holding meetings with Taliban Shoora were much optimistic about the fruitfulness of the ongoing process. In an unusual move TTP spokesman also expressed confidence in the ongoing peace process.
Ironically with the initiation of peace dialogue by the head of government, terror strikes continued undauntedly in the country as 18 high magnitude terrorist attacks have so far been carried out since 29th January. Fourteen were held in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa while nine only in Peshawar metropolis including six suicide attacks.
TTP in start disassociated itself from these attacks but took the responsibility of an that came on 13th February 2014 on Police force in Karachi wherein 13 persons were killed and around 50 were injured. According to TTP central spokesman the attack was in retaliation to the killing of their commanders by police and rangers in Karachi, Peshawar and Swabi and vowed to continue with such attacks if the government didn’t stop attacks on Taliban.
There are multiple challenges in the way of peace talks which need serious and sincere steps from both the parties involved in the process, i-e., government and Taliban. However, a common man is confused that whether the concerned parties are in fact interested in establishing peace by resorting to truce or not.
Taliban persists for implementation of Islamic Sharia in the country while the government insists that talks will be held under the constitution of Pakistan. Moreover, Taliban has set few conditions for peace talks; one, withdrawal of military from FATA, two, release of all TTP companions from prisons and three, compensation to those affected by military operations across FATA. The demands might be hard for the government to accept but despite all hurdles the later has to come up with a proper agenda and framework for the peace dialogue.
However it merits mentioning here that since the onset of insurgency in the tribal belt, talks between Taliban and the government continued from time to time but unfortunately these dialogues remained void of inclusion of either the tribal elders or the FATA Parliamentarians. Inclusion of these tribal elders and FATA parliamentarians remained a long standing demand of the people of federally administered tribal areas. The logic of inclusion is, these very elders are familiar with the local customs and tribal code and their role in establishing durable peace in the area is very crucial.
So if truce is the ultimate solution of the in-pipe peace process than proper framework should be presented for talks without losing time any more. People need peace, development, education and are tired of bloodshed. The situation demands high degree of farsightedness from government of Pakistan at this critical juncture as a slight show of frivolity can destroy a ray of hope.