News Analysis |
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Imran Khan has said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was helped and financed by the enemies of the country to carry out violent attacks inside Pakistan.
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While giving a tell-all interview to a private social media channel on Tuesday, Khan said the terrorist group was ably supported by India and Afghanistan. “There is no doubt about the fact that India, Afghanistan and according to some accounts, the US were supporting the TTP,” said the former cricket-legend.
Khan, whose position on how to fight militancy is often conflated with his support for the Taliban, made this assertion while clarifying his line of argument in regards to terrorism.” The issue [militancy] can be resolved by a strong government that can engage people, isolate militants and not only rely upon the military option,” said Khan who is often chastised for being allegedly soft on militants.
Counterterrorism will be one of the most important policies that Khan will have to sell to his prospective voters.
Responding to a question about his tendencies towards extremism, Khan said it was a planned campaign against him as he was a fierce opponent of the US war in Afghanistan. “NGOs and media houses were paid for that campaign,” Khan said while adding: “No sane political mind only resorts to a one-dimensional [military] approach.” He said that the use of the military is one of the planks of counterterrorism, not the be-all and the end-all in itself.
Khan said that we must fight militants by isolating them from the population. He added that he will continue to speak against the US war in Afghanistan and the policy adopted by Pakistan under duress. Khan has often been criticized by friends and foes alike on his persistent stance on terrorism.
While many have asserted that Khan is against the use of military force, Khan calls for embedding the military option in an all-embracing comprehensive counterterrorism strategy.
Experts on the subject are well aware that outsourcing counterterrorism to the military alone is a flawed idea; military operations create space for socio-political reforms. If the operations are not backed up by civilian incursions then peace is said to be short-lived.
Khan, whose position on how to fight militancy is often conflated with his support for the Taliban, made this assertion while clarifying his line of argument in regards to terrorism.
However, scholars and practitioners warn against talking to militants as it brings the state at parity with non-state actors; going a long way in dispossessing the state of the monopoly of violence.Observers have attributed the early reverses suffered by Pakistan in tackling militants to dilly-dallying and revolving between peace deals and military operations.
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Khan’s vote base is seen to be firmly behind the idea of obliterating terrorists’ networks. Ahead of the elections, a clarification on his position on the issue is needed. Counterterrorism will be one of the most important policies that Khan will have to sell to his prospective voters.