Regardless of a generally prevailing opinion about the ruthlessness of Taliban, I really admire one great characteristic that they have displayed as a group– they are firm in their believes, whether it’s right or wrong from our perspective. They never mince their words or try to appease the audience by changing their position. They did not regretted attacking Malala; instead they have recently threatened to kill her if she ever tries to come back home. The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) leader Hakeem Ullah Mehsud said in an interview on Oct 09 that TTP have nothing to do with what is happening in Afghanistan. He reiterated his group’ demand for Pakistan to come out from under Western influence and enforce Shariah laws in the country. He was very clear about Western style democracy (one man, one vote), judiciary (which is governed by laws formulated as per Pakistan’ international commitments on human rights, women and children protection, every citizen’ right to education and decent life), and most importantly the constitution which binds all the pillars of the state. Taliban want to take Pakistan back to the old times.

While the Taliban are very clear of their aspirations and targets, the issue lies with their apologists who are always trying to justify their demands and actions. Sometime you will find them denying that the Taliban even exist in the country; they would blame India, Israel and the West for the horrendous suicide bombings, explosions and attacks on mosques, shrines and schools.

If these apologists are really serious, then they should request the TTP to lay down arms, accept Pakistan’ constitution and enter into political mainstream to struggle for their demands through ballot. They know this is not going to happen, that’s why they continue to confuse Pakistanis. Accept it or not the reality is that the TTP will never go back on its demands, at the same time Pakistan will never give in. We will be at a standstill on this topic like Kashmir for years to come.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, October 10.