PM Khan said that Pakistan is holding talks with many groups of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ‘from a position of strength.’
He expressed these views in an interview with the Middle East Eye on Monday. In the interview, the PM discussed the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, Pak-US ties among other issues.
According to PM Khan, Pakistan was engaging with those groups of the TTP who can be reconciled ‘from a position of strength’.
Moreover, he reiterated that there are no military solutions to insurgencies.
“I always believed all insurgencies eventually end up on the dialogue table, like the IRA [Irish Republican Army] for instance,” he explained.
“We now have to talk to those we can reconcile with [and persuade] to give up their arms and live as normal citizens,” he added.
“We’re trying to talk to those who can be reconciled from a position of strength. They need to give up arms, those who don’t.. Govt will take action”
PM Imran Khan on TTP on his interview. pic.twitter.com/MrW57dDuNw
— Virk Shahzaib (@VirkSh786) October 11, 2021
PM Khan’s decision to reconcile with TTP
The government’s decision to engage with TTP for reconciliation received mass criticism. While speaking to TRT World, PM Khan revealed that Pakistan is in disarmament talks with some factions of TTP.
The premier said that these talks, for disarmament, if successful, will lead to the government “forgiving” them, “and then they [will] become normal citizens”.
Interestingly, the PTI government proposed reconciliation on several occasions. Before PM Khan’s interview, President Arif Alvi said the government could think of pardoning the TTP members not involved in “criminal activities”, who would disarm themselves, and follow the law.
Furthermore, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi also, “If the TTP responds in a positive manner, so will Pakistan.”
However, the government received mass backlash for its stance. The Opposition termed the talks an insult to the victims of terrorism.
“The unilateral decision to offer amnesty to terrorist groups within Pakistan is an insult to the thousands of victims of terrorism,” PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto said.
The unilateral decision to offer amnesty to terrorist groups within Pakistan is an insult to the thousands of victims of terrorism. Imran’s policy of appeasement to religious fascism within Pakistan as well as on our eastern & western borders will haunt us in-times to come.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) September 17, 2021
Ever since the Taliban took over, the PTI government appears hopeful as with the Taliban’s help, terrorism can end in Pakistan. The Taliban repeatedly assured Pakistan that it would not allow its soil to be used against Pakistan. Moreover, it will mediate talks between Pakistan and the TTP.