Let’s agree for a second that the TTP isn’t behind the recent blasts in Quetta and Peshawar which killed 21 people. That Ahrar-ul-Hind, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, is truly independent in its decision-making and operations. That there are several other similar groups across Pakistan, which refuse to become a part of the ‘dialogue process’. That certain “foreign elements” are active within the country’s territorial boundaries. That there are militant sectarian outfits which have been targeting minority groups since long before the TTP was formed. Then, certain questions must be answered.
What is the government’s policy towards dealing with anti-talks groups such as the Ahrar-ul-Hind? If it plans to use force, then what exactly is holding it back? One would think that right now would be a great time considering the fact that the TTP has distanced itself from such groups, and more importantly, that our citizens are getting blown to pieces uninterruptedly. Why would taking action against a group which refuses to accept ceasefire and has been disowned by the ‘pro-talks’ TTP shura, hamper the peace process? In fact, this is the best way to ascertain whether the TTP’s claims are authentic. If they actually wish to talk, then they won’t have a problem with the state acting against those who don’t. Either way, the truth will come out.
It is a failed debate, to argue whether or not the TTP has real control over these terrorist groups. It is failed because it makes the TTP look like a group of helpless pro-peace militants. It is failed also, because no matter what the answer, it doesn’t matter in the end. That the TTP leadership in Waziristan is divided is no secret. That there are divisions and trifles between them, is known to us already. The only thing that must concern us, is what the continuing violence means for us. Journalistic or academic debate aside, we must have an answer for this. The government must identify who these people are and fight them, whether they are TTP or not. That argument is wasted breath.
Additionally, how does the government plan to tackle sectarian outfits? They are neither a part of the peace process, nor is the government taking any action against them. Is it waiting for them to run out of bullets, or worse, minorities to kill?
Are the victims of the Quetta and Peshawar blasts supposed to take solace in the fact that it wasn’t the TTP this time? This is what they want from the state: whoever it was, get them.