Complexity of negotiations – Latest news – The Nation

The recently reported “secret” negotiations between the federal government and the banned militant group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), based in Afghanistan, surprised many. On June 3, 2022, Federal Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb acknowledged that Pakistan was negotiating a peace deal with the TTP and that the Afghan Taliban were acting as mediators between the two sides, while Pakistan welcomes the ceasefire announced by the TTP, which has been extended indefinitely after the Pakistani tribal jirga visited Kabul and held talks with the TTP leadership. Sources point out that the TTP has made several demands, including the cancellation of the FATA merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which rid the tribal peoples of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), a relic of the colonial era, and brought the population in the general public. The TTP also wants Pakistani laws and courts to be replaced with Sharia laws enforced by Sharia courts in Malakand, followed by other tribal areas, monetary compensation and allowing the TTP group to keep their weapons. But the Pakistani side wants them to lay down their arms and also refused to restore the status of FATA.
It is noteworthy that unlike other countries’ war on terrorism, the Pakistan Armed Forces have shown incredible progress through the military operation Zarb-e-Azb, which started on June 15, 2014 against the militants of the North Waziristan Agency and later expanded to other tribal areas. — has almost achieved its objectives, while the military operation Radd-ul-Fasaad continues successfully. Addressing the Defense Day and Martyrs’ Day ceremony on September 6, 2017, the Army Chief of Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa said, “The country has gone through a very difficult phase over the past two decades… Our forces and our nation have made sacrifices during the war. against terrorism… Our homes, our schools and our leaders have been attacked. Efforts have been made to weaken us internally. Noting that more than 70,000 Pakistanis have been martyred and injured in this war (as of 2017), the army chief pledged to collectively fight against this terrorist threat. Earlier, showing the progress of Zarb-e-Azb, the then Chief of Staff, General Raheel Sharif, said: “The terrorists were driven out of their strongholds in North Waziristan and the Khyber agency and the fight now moves into the final years. pockets close to the Afghan border. He stressed the “continuation of operations until the elimination of the last expected and probable terrorist groups and sanctuaries”.
In the recent past, terrorist attacks in various provinces of Pakistan, especially in Balochistan, show that Indian RAW and other intelligence agencies are destabilizing Pakistan. These intelligence entities want to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of the Chinese One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, as the United States and India have already opposed this project. It seems that the TTP insurgents have lost a lot of ground and in deep frustration they are trying to create some kind of so-called pressure on the government and the armed forces through some terrorist activities. In November 2020, in a joint press conference and joint press briefing, Major General Babar Iftikhar of DGISPR and then Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi unveiled a dossier containing “irrefutable evidence” of India’s sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram, handed over the dossier to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
In its 27th report, dated February 3, 2021, and the 28th report, released recently, the UN Security Council monitoring team in charge of tracking down terrorist groups confirmed Pakistan’s case. The reports focused on the global threat posed by Al-Qaeda, Daesh and their related groups – drew attention to the growing cross-border terrorist threat to Pakistan from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, operating from Afghan soil. In its new report of May 28, 2022, it once again highlighted the threat of the TTP which has carried out numerous “cross-border” attacks and deadly operations in Pakistan. Notably, nearly 120 members of Pakistan’s security forces have been killed this year in terrorist attacks mainly carried out by the TTP. These attacks forced Pakistan to launch retaliatory airstrikes, targeting TTP hideouts across the border.
If the official bodies involved in the negotiations are little concerned about the drastic consequences of accepting the demands of the TTP, this process could give rise to more complex conflicts. By continuing this policy of appeasement, Pakistan risks allowing the TTP to regroup at home, halting military operations against terrorism – the TTP and other banned terrorist groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda , IS-K, BLA and their related groups that have claimed responsibility for numerous terrorism-related attacks in Pakistan will benefit. Nevertheless, the negotiations with the TTP must be the subject of a general debate and Parliament must be given confidence. Nevertheless, it is hoped that Islamabad will not compromise with the TTP by ceding its hard-won dominance, thus losing in the talks what it had gained on the battlefield.

Sharon D. Cole