LAHORE - PTI which is advocating peace dialogue with the outlawed TTP since long, is facing divisions among its ranks concerning advancing the peace efforts with the elements which are continuously striking state’s defence apparatus and not ready to accept the writ of the state.
PTI leadership’s majority, which was advocating resolving the Fata region turmoil by holding peace parleys with the outlawed TTP, keeping in view no central authority in the militant umbrella of various groups to control terror attacks against the state’s vital institutions now divided into two camps of which one still wants to pursue the peace efforts, while the other suggests taking on all the militants attacking state’s defence apparatus and carrying out other high crimes.
To review the overall political strategy of the party concerning various issues with special focus on dealing with Fata unrest through dialogue or operation, PTI high command has summoned party’s core committee meeting at Islamabad today (Monday). PTI vice chairman, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, when contacted said, “Core committee will review the overall political situation and party’s strategy concerning various issues.”
When asked to reply the specific query concerning discussion on peace dialogue or operation in Fata during the core committee meeting, he restricted himself to few words: “I can’t comment on this matter and we should wait for the outcome of the core committee meeting.”
PTI leaders belonging to both camps ‘dialogue and operation’ with outlawed TTP told this correspondent on Sunday their arguments but requesting anonymity till the final position of the party on this vital issue concerning resolving the Fata unrest in the changing scenario. PTI leaders in favour of an aggressive operation against the outlawed TTP said, “No negotiations can succeed with the elements who want to impose their brand of religion with complete disregard to the state writ despite serious peace efforts.” They were of the opinion: Talks should be held with only those militants who are ready to lay down their arms and accept the democratic process, while the others should be dealt with iron hand.” PTI leaders further proposed: The outlawed TTP members involved in high crimes like attacks on civilian and defence forces, besides kidnapping for ransom should get life sentences if captured alive.
They also suggested: Government with the special assistance of country’s elite security services should make contacts with the outlawed TTP groups or individuals willing to opt for peace, for, these elements can be of vital help to state security services to neutralize or capture the anti-peace elements. They were of the view that defence forces of the country needed masses backup for their efforts against the terrorists for morale building as the members of the security forces were rendering huge sacrifices and this effort could be possible by an all out support to a declared operation.
PTI leaders supporting operation in Fata, however added: There should be a comprehensive plan concerning the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), tentative timeframe to complete the operation, development plans in the Fata region after the operation and inclusion of the tribal political leaders in the mainstream politics.
PTI leaders supporting peace efforts to resolve the issues in Fata have said that peace parleys could bring results if the government would have taken benefit of the ceasefire but it failed to act as an elected government which resulted in fresh violence. They proposed: We still haven’t lost the opportunity for ending the militancy in the tribal region through peaceful means and the government should engage all groups of the outlawed TTP whether pro-peace or anti-peace as the problem can be dealt by taking all the stake-holders on board. They added: The divide and rule policy, which we inherited from our colonial masters will not work and the government should involve all the groups operating in Fata or settled areas of Khyber Pukhtunkhawa. Pro-dialogue group of PTI leaders remarked: The war mongers are not foreseeing the human cost of the military operation and its future implications.
Meanwhile, PTI central spokesperson, Dr Shirin Mazari talking to the media said that party’s anti-poll rigging drive in various parts of the country was going on sucessfully, while the PTI would stage its last protest demonstration against 2013 poll rigging in Karachi.