ISLAMABAD - Terming the pace talks so far held with Taliban a 'farce', JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman believes that dialogue is still the only way to bring peace in the troubled areas if carried out with sincerity, and offered his party's services for it.
The head of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam expressed these views while talking to media persons here at Parliament House on Thursday before he met with party delegations that came here to discuss party affairs.
Fazl said that 'establishment' has decided to go for full-scale operation against the militants and in these conditions meaningful talks could not be held. In his view the establishment has decided to eliminate militants through use of force, as they believed that peace with militants could not be achieved through negotiations.
Recalling his party's initiative to bring normalcy in the restive tribal areas through negotiations, he said that the things were heading in right direction when government had brought in some other players by forming peace committees which derailed the serious efforts being made. But even then, they extended complete support to the government initiative, which eventually failed, he added.
To a question, the JUI-F chief said his party was even now ready to play a role in taking the peace initiative forward but they themselves would not go to prime minister for the purpose; if the government wanted to engage them in meaningful talks, they should approach them. He said his party had formed Tribal Jirga but later the government had formed peace committees, which undermined their efforts for bringing sustainable peace in the restive tribal areas.
To a question about Gen(r) Pervez Musharraf, Fazl said his party is least concerned. About Allama Tahirul Qadri he said he is Pakistani national and it is his right to come back to his country and nobody could stop him.
Later talking to the party delegations, which met him here, Fazlur Rehman termed the recent drone strikes inside Pakistan a blatant violation of country's sovereignty and asked the government to lodge strongest protest with the United States. He said that such attacks in the tribal areas would sabotage the efforts of bringing lasting peace. He termed drone attacks a conspiracy against the country as it would entangle the people and government of Pakistan into an unending war with militants.
He stressed the need for making independent foreign policy and getting out of the influence of international powers to rid the country of this so-called war on terror that has been ‘imposed’ on the people of Pakistan.
He made it loud and clear that peace in the country could only be achieved through meaningful dialogue and military operations are no solution to the problems facing the country.