LAHORE - The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is less likely to come up with anything new as far as its demands for peace talks are concerned. It is most likely to stick to its seven demands, already known to everybody.
The Taliban had been demanding an enforcement of Sharia, detachment of Pakistan from the war on terror, release of their imprisoned comrades, halt to drone strikes, rewriting of the Constitution and reshaping of foreign policy, etc. For the negotiations to succeed, the government would have to concede at least some of these demands. And we all know that the Taliban have already made it clear they would not budge an inch from their stated position.
Now the only thing to be seen is that which side concedes how much to the other. It has also been a consistent stance of the Pakistan government that it would not agree to anything which was inconsistent to the Constitution.
Some analysts are of the view that the government might offer a Swat-like agreement to the Taliban that would apply only to those areas controlled by them mainly in the tribal belt. But on the other hand, the Taliban had been demanding an enforcement of Sharia in the entire country. It’s also in common knowledge that the Swat agreement did not last long, and ultimately the government had to launch a military operation to clear the areas of terrorists.
According to the available record, the Taliban time and again insisted on their demand for the imposition of Islamic law in the country. The Taliban had demanded the government released militant prisoners and began withdrawing troops from the tribal region. The banned outfit conditioned that the government released the Taliban militants it was holding prisoner and showed that it was withdrawing soldiers from the tribal region along the border with Afghanistan. A Taliban spokesperson had been quoted as saying, “If the government does not take these two steps, the peace process cannot go forward.”
The organization had also criticised Pakistan’s democratic system, and demanded imposition of Sharia laws and asked the government to break off its alliance with the United States.
The TTP had also demanded end of Pakistan’s participation in the Afghan war and reshaping of the Constitution and foreign policy according to the Quran and Sunnah.
“Pakistan should rewrite its laws and Constitution according to Islamic law. We are ready to cease fire with Pakistan as long as they meet our demands, that an Islamic system should be put into place, they should fix their foreign policy and stop agreeing to American’s demands,” TTP spokesman had said according to a widely circulated English newspaper.
The chief of TTP Mohmand Agency chapter Umar Khalid Khurasani, in a statement, had said, “We demand rewriting of Pakistan’s Constitution, while the military says any talks with militants must be within the ambit of the Constitution. We will not budge an inch from our demand. We will withdraw support from any Taliban commander who compromises on this demand.”
It was also reported that the TTP handed a list of 4,752 prisoners to the government who they want released in past.
The organization’s spokesman Shahid Ullah Shahid had said, “We cannot move forward unless the government accepts these two demands… it must take steps which can develop an atmosphere of trust and can remove the doubts and suspicion.”
The Pakistani Taliban had also insisted us drone strikes in the country's northwest must stop before they will consider peace talks with the government.
“A ceasefire alone is not sufficient. The stoppage of drone strikes is essential, otherwise, if drones continue to strike, we will not accept the ceasefire,” Shahid said.
The TTP had also raised the demand of monetary compensation for the families of the Taliban who were killed in the tribal areas either in US drone attacks or in military operations.