Negotiations between TTP and Pakistan: Reconciliation Efforts

Pakistan is all set to mark another history by bringing Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on the table for negotiation. Comprising of various militant groups, TTP is an Islamist armed group that operates under the umbrella of Pakistani Taliban.

The group that came into being in 2007 under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud has been operational since December 23, 2007. There is, absolutely, no doubt that TTP has been behind massive, dreadful, and grievous attacks in Pakistan of which the most significant is APS Peshawar massacre, 2014 following attacks on civil and military targets.

However, the negotiations despite being failed in the past seemed appropriate today once again. A ray of hope arose when on August 15, 2021 the Taliban of Afghanistan through peaceful transition came into the government.

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The same Taliban who has been fighting for the decades decided to settle down the matter through negotiation, peacefully. It was through the mediation of Pakistan that this historic transition has taken place.

As PM Imran Khan has been a staunch believer of solving the matter through dialogue rather  a war. Thus, after having one successful negotiation attempt, now Pakistan is once again ready to have negotiations this time with factions of TTP in Afghanistan having Afghan Taliban as mediators.

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No one knows what might happen at the end of negotiations as PM Imran Khan said in his interview to TRT, “We might not reach some sort of conclusion or settlement in the end but we are talking.”

There is anguish among citizens of the country since PM Imran Khan has made this above mentioned statement. The anger of public is just, since the country has suffered a lot at the hands of these militants. People have lost their loved ones, and suffered economically and psychologically.

In addition, as the news break-off many journalists across the globe are of the view that this is not a wise decision as one can never trust how far and serious the consequences can be considering the demands put forward by TTP that include implementation of Shari’ah in Pakistan and release of TTP prisoners.

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On the other hand, Pakistan Government demands to “forgive” TTP factions only when they lay down arms and accept the Constitution of Pakistan.

However, despite edgy situation, there are also some journalists and people that are hopeful of positive outcome. As TTP has announced cease fire from October 01 to October 20, along with presenting some of their demands of which few have been acceded.

Also many view the situation of today as different from that in the past. Because in past both Afghan Taliban and TTP were not on talking terms with Pakistan; however, today Afghan Taliban ruling Afghanistan is a proof that negotiations can bring what war cannot.

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Seeing that to combat such attacks in the past when negotiations failed military solutions were carried out in the form of commando operation against the radical Red Mosque, Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.

Nevertheless, despite achieving success the attacks on civil and military targets continued. Hence, it is better to give the peace talks a go wisely by taking a political risk before considering a military option again.

This article has been written by Amnah Jabeen who is a Pakistan-based Freelance journalist and blogger.

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