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Pakistan and Ttp

  • Date Submitted: 03/06/2014 10:37 PM
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Pakistan and TTP: Dialogue or Military Action?
Salma Malik
Assistant Professor, Defence and Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University |
The verdict is out: instead of supporting decisive military action to break the back of insurgents, the government chose to dialogue, with umpteenth committees to name, shame, blame and footdrag. Interestingly, where the dialogue option has halted government military action as a confidence-building and reconciliatory measure, not only are the Taliban carrying out their signature strikes (such as the latest at a cinema house in Peshawar and a direct attack against security forces) but are already picking on soft targets such as the peaceful Ismailia (Shia) population in Gilgit Baltistan area to convert or scare them into vacating their homeland. This is also being attempted against the harmless Kailash tribes, as are targeted strikes against government empathisers and Aman (peace) Jirga members, to further their reign of terror and convey the message that they are still in control.

What will be the implication of these talks? Will the talks be successful? Will they usher peace? Or will negotiating with the insurgents lead to the popularly dreaded Taliban interpreted Shariah? Some feel that it is the Taliban and not the government who are at a weaker wicket, and with time the former stands to lose more than gain. This is because such violent movements are inherently self-annihilating in nature, and usually, factionalism, power struggle, and their getting too big for their size will cause their eventual downfall. However, there is little comfort in this theory, as not only will such a scenario entail heavy collateral damages, but would end up substantially destroying critical infrastructure and distort the socio-political fabric before it ceases.

So what do the talks hold, and what is their measure of success? Would they result in bringing forth a pro-government or pro-Taliban stance or a win-win situation for both? Either...


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