Rifaqatullah Razarwal

PESHAWAR: Analysts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa say it is imperative to stop further incidents of violence and killings for bringing durable peace. However, they say that in a situation when Pakistan had to endure loss of 70,000 lives in the war against terrorism, the Pakistan government cannot give pardon to the banned TTP militants without including the victim families in the decision.

President Dr Arif Alvi during a recent interview had said Pakistan may consider pardon for those TTP members who are not part of violent activities and willing to follow the Constitution of Pakistan.

On Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also hinted at the same, and said the government can consider amnesty for militants who promise to live peacefully.

Analysts say although the peace overture is a good thing, but four such initiatives by the government in the past failed to yield positive outcome.

Professor Irfan Ashraf from Journalism and Mass Communication Department of the University of Peshawar says it is a dangerous announcement by the government. He said there is no guarantee that the militants after settling again in merged districts won’t exploit the local population. He said the Pakistani population suffered a lot in the war against terrorism. He said any unilateral decision by the government in this regard will prove counterproductive.

Professor Irfan said the government is not fulfilling its responsibilities towards the victims of terrorism and such actions may give rise to militancy again. He revealed that a three-member committee has already been formed to pave the way for talks between the government and Pakistani Taliban. He said such talks earlier in Swat, Bajaur and Waziristan earlier did not prove fruitful.

The announcement by the government came at a time when clashes between the security forces and militants have intensified in Waziristan region. Attacks on security forces and intelligence-based operations in Waziristan are continuing for the last several days in which life losses have been reported from both sides.

On the other hand, defence analyst Brigadier Said Nazir considers the government initiative positive and timely. He said there are some elements in TTP who always try to sabotage the peace overtures of the Pakistan government. He said the non-violent elements in the TTP can be engaged in talks which would weaken the militant organization.

Brigadier Said Nazir said the families of militants renouncing violence will have to give an undertaking that they will remain peaceful, and the government will have to keep an eye on their activities. He said the government may also arrange counselling for those renouncing violence.


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