Pakistan’s Imran government has started talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP). With this decision, the opposition parties of the Imran government and the public have come under attack. According to Pakistani media, Imran Khan had said that the government would forgive TTP members and if they lay down arms, they would become ordinary citizens.
On this statement of Imran Khan, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has reprimanded Imran Khan for holding talks with the banned TTP. The PPP described the decision as “sprinkling salt on the wounds of the families of the dead Pakistani soldiers”. This issue was also raised by the PPP in the Parliament of Pakistan.
Usama Khilji, director of the Advocacy and Research Group in Pakistan, said that some Pakistani terrorist groups have offered a ceasefire, but their crimes should never be forgiven. This shows that the lives of Pakistani citizens are not of much value to the Prime Minister, who has continued to advocate dialogue with terrorist groups.
Terrorism wreaked havoc in Pakistan for nearly a decade, killing more than 80,000 Pakistani civilians, policemen, soldiers and children. Usama Khilji says that Prime Minister Imran Khan has no right to forgive butchers so easily.
At the same time, PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman has asked Khan in Parliament that the government should clarify the conditions under which it is negotiating with a terrorist organization like TTP.
PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari said that Khan’s announcement about talks with TTP is a very sensitive statement, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported. He also demanded that a session of Parliament should be convened immediately to discuss this. Questioned why Parliament and political parties were kept oblivious about talks with TTP?
In the wake of recent developments in Afghanistan following the takeover of the Taliban, experts have cautioned Pakistan to tread carefully and asked Islamabad to avoid over-simplifying the Afghan issue.