Armed men kidnapped the close aide, Haji Sher Bahadur, to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday from Tank district, according to sources. Haji Sher Bahadur and Haibat Khan were headed toward home when unknown armed men abducted them in Dolat Koroona area of Tank region, in South Waziristan, where safe havens of insurgency still exist. So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the abduction. Prior to this event, Maulana Fazlur Rehman stated that peace talks with the Taliban remained in crisis due to the ongoing drone strikes. Furthermore, he insisted that it was necessary to find avenues to hold peace talks with the Taliban for protecting “the larger interest of the country.”

It seems as if our political leaders are more than eager to become the victims of their own mistakes; abductions and targeting of civilians at the hands of insurgents and other militants is nothing new in Pakistan, but with how some of our politicians continue to press on ‘peace talks’, one begins to wonder if a form of debilitating amnesia inflicts their memory. It has become gruesomely obvious that militants seek negotiations only to be inducted into the national mainstream for more misplaced sympathy and support.

This unfortunate incident, among the mounting others, should propel Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his supporters of peace talks to finally reconsider their position on such an approach. For some reason, proponents of negotiations with the Taliban seem to forget that the militant leaders themselves have hardened their stance recently; after the election of Mullah Fazlullah, the Pakistani Taliban rejected the proposal of peace talks with the government. It would help Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others to reevaluate their understanding of this grisly conflict, and finally understand that peace talks yield little peace and more complacency with insurgents who remain fixated on maiming, abducting and killing innocent civilians of the country.