That the TTP has nominated five negotiators, who are not from within TTP, especially Imran Khan, is a very clever move. This is their psychological win number one. That the nominated five are men of stature, as compared to the four-member government team, which consists of two journalists and two ex-officials; though their professional integrity is established yet it is not known whether they can withstand pressure, gives TTP another psychological edge. But the most clever move is that they have promised to provide iron-clad security to the peace negotiators in the areas under their control. That means the security they guarantee is more reliable than the security the government guarantees! It displays great actors in this dram and people with excellent planning skills.

They are not alone, there are no lone warriors challenging the state of Pakistan, they are more political than our politicians. It simply means that the ball has been thrown back not only in the government’s court but also in the five individuals they have nominated. Especially Imran Khan, who seems to be in a dire strait. But it’s high time he learnt what real politics is.

Is there no one from the government’s side, in the intelligentsia and media, capable of not only outsmarting the Taliban on table but also smart enough to know how to move ahead with clear dominance and clarity? Otherwise, such psychological retreats would add to nation’s dismay. The nation is looking with batted breath at the drama unfolding, many would like to believe, real peace in Pakistan.

PROFESSOR ALYA ALVI,

Rawalpindi, February 3.