LAHORE- As the peace talks with the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have almost failed, the security forces are preparing for a ground operation to comb out terrorists after the successful precision air strikes that eliminated several terror targets in North Wazirsitan and Khyber Agency.
Informed sources told this correspondent on Friday that special units of state forces would soon start ground operation in terror-infested tribal agencies along the Afghan border, though larger military penetration would be made if the peace process died down completely.
The government still desires to resolve the terrorism issue through dialogue but chances of success are dim. The govt has categorically ruled out restarting the stalled negotiations unless the TTP leadership announces unconditional ceasefire. The Taliban on the other hand have accused the state forces of starting a war amid the talks.
“I don’t see resumption of meaningful dialogue with the TTP as the top Taliban leadership seems to have little or no influence over the anti-peace elements in their folds,” a government peace committee member told this correspondent seeking anonymity.
The government talks committee member claimed that those among the TTP leadership who expect no pardon for their major role in high profile terror activities are trying to derail the peace process. “The split among TTP ranks was visible from the beginning, but the TTP leadership operating from Afghanistan continued to insist that they enjoy support of all Taliban factions.”
Peace committee still have the mandate of making efforts for calm, he said, but now the TTP leadership has not only to announce unconditional ceasefire but also assist the government for eliminating the anti-peace elements. And, they should not take much time in expressing their genuine interest in peace talks because they have already nearly missed the golden opportunity.
About the planned ground operation, he said, “Assistance of Kabul is vital for success of targeted ground operations against the high and mid-ranking TTP leadership, of which some might have already crossed the Durand-Line.”
On the other hand, informed sources in the federal capital confided to The Nation that Islamabad is likely tender a formal request to Kabul for devising a mechanism to eliminate enemies of Pakistan who have taken refuge in Afghanistan. They declined to reply when asked if Islamabad would ask Kabul for joint operation in Afghan borderlands or permission for eliminating the terror targets on Afghan soil.
Informing that Pakistan was manning around 1,150 border posts on the Afghan border while Afghanistan was maintaining just around 150, they said that bigger responsibility lies with Kabul to nab “our enemies who somehow managed to slip into the Afghan territory and hand them over to us”.
When contacted, security expert on Fata Brigadier (r) Mehmood Shah said, “TTP leader Khalid Khurasani through killing the captured FC personnel in Mohmand Agency has tried to divert the security forces’ attention to South Waziristan, which has been settled to a larger extent in the past.” He added: The elements which didn’t acknowledge constitution of Pakistan and unleash terror should be dealt with state force.