The Nation carried Mr Saad Rasool’s thought provoking article, “Khan’s apologists”. Anybody not part of the TTP but on the negotiation table has to be credible, neutral, sincere and commanding more than good influence on the TTP leadership. It is no simple matter to arrive at easy solutions and assurances of possible end result. We are facing a very complex issue. The government’s committee in its initial meeting with TTP negotiators, presented five points of which the most important was “the talks should be held within the framework of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. The other important conditions were that the authority of TTP negotiators (and its monitoring committee) be made clear: and dialogue process should be quick and speedy.

Anything outside the framework of the constitution will be illegal. The proper forum for consideration of any logical and reasonable demands of the TTP is the parliament. The parliament should be ready to consider the demands if violence is stopped and the focus remains on troubled areas only.

As the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recently said, “rectifying wrong policies is a must to defeat terror”. In this context all political parties represented in the parliament have the responsibility to work together and work hard for this national cause. Street politics and violence is not what we need. Good citizenship means that we love our country and accept the writ of the state. It is important to distinguish the state from the government. Army’s announcement of ceasefire should not be taken as weakness of the government. This is an opportunity for TTP to lay down arms and all criminals should be treated according to the law.

Though it looks as if the desired peace is near, the majority of the conditions are a challenge to the writ of the state, which means that peace would remain a distant dream as those conditions of the TTP are against the interest of the state of Pakistan and its people. Terrorists who belong to other countries must be handed over to Pakistani authorities for legal action against them.

IFTIKHAR AHMAD,

Lahore, February 12.