English News

indianarrative

Pakistan’s Generals angry with Kabul rulers for not pressuring Pakistani Taliban to lay down arms

With no indication of any positive outcome in the talks with the extremist Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Pakistan Taliban, Pakistani security officials have started blaming the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, who are hosting the negotiations, for not putting enough pressure on the terrorist outfit.

With no indication of any positive outcome in the talks with the extremist Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Pakistan Taliban, Pakistani security officials have started blaming the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, who are hosting the negotiations, for not putting enough pressure on the terrorist outfit.

Although the Taliban says that the ceasefire is for an indefinite period, Pakistani security officials fear that it may not last long as has happened in the past with the unpredictable TTP leaders who are seeking a separate tribal area for themselves.

“The Afghan Taliban will have to eventually choose between the TTP and Pakistan,” Express Tribune reported, quoting a source who is a part of the Pakistani negotiating team.

According to analysts, the Pakistani establishment started the secret negotiations with the TTP on the assurances given by the Interior Minister of Taliban regime, Sirajuddin Haqqani that he would be using all his power to make the talks successful. However, it has been a month and the two sides have yet to find common ground on the main demands.

“Pakistan will never agree to the extreme demands of the TTP including undoing the FATA merger.  It was the Pakistan army who got Haqqani the most powerful post in Afghanistan, yet he has not returned the favour,” says one Pakistani watcher.

Now the secret negotiations with the TTP are not a  secret any more in Pakistan and there is an outcry against the deal in the Pakistani army.  The Shehbaz Sharif-led government is under pressure regarding the ongoing deal.

According to Pakistani media, the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI chief will hold an in-camera meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on National Security  to discuss the likely deal with the TTP.

There are reservations among the coalition partners of the government regarding the ongoing deal. For the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) the TTP is responsible for the killing of their leader Benazir Bhutto in 2012.

“The Pakistani army had initiated the talks with the Pakistan Taliban on the assurance given by the Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani but the group is not showing any flexibility on a few demands which are not acceptable to Pakistan. Now the Taliban say that talks are concluded and the matter is between Pakistan and the TTP. No it is not not over..the main points are still to be discussed,” said Rana Shabbir Hussain, a Pakistani journalist.

The Pakistani security establishment had hoped that the return of the Afghan Taliban to power would address its security concerns but it only emboldened the TTP which has killed more than 100 Pakistani security personnel in the last five months. Frustrated Pakistan has finally started carrying out airstrikes inside Afghanistan targeting the TTP. It has also issued a clear warning to the Taliban’s leadership that it would not tolerate further attacks from across the border.

Under pressure the chief of Haqqani Network and one of the most powerful Taliban leaders, Sirajiddin Haqqani offered to mediate the talks but made it clear that the Afghan Taliban will not “betray” the Pakistan Taliban.  

“We don’t want to coerce the TTP. They have waged jihad with us against the Americans and made sacrifices. It would be better that Pakistan and TTP come to terms, after giving each other some concessions,” Sirajuddin Haqqani had made it clear to the Pakistani negotiators.

There is a sense of deja vu in many Pakistanis regarding the “suspicious” and “secret” deal with the TTP and reportedly agreeing to their “unconstitutional” demands. Even few officials who are part of the negotiating team argue that Pakistan is  still giving peace a chance but they themselves are in doubt of the final outcome.

Also Read : Setback to Pakistan as Taliban rejects Army’s plea to arm-twist TTP