ISLAMBAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday reiterated his government’s resolve to seek a negotiated settlement with Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Talking to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the premier said the government would extend full support to efforts that might bring the militants to table and appreciated Fazl’s role in this connection.
Fazl’s spokesman Jan Achakzai told this correspondent that Maulana Fazl had briefed the prime minister on the ways to revive tribal jirga process started by an APC that his party had held in last week of February this year.
Nawaz, according to Achakzai, said he would meet Fazl on his return from his Saturday’s visit to Kabul to inform the latter of results of his talks there and form a future strategy to reach out to the militants.
The government seems clueless about how to renew its efforts for getting the militants on the negotiation table while Fazl has taken to reviving tribal jirga for talks with the TTP. It remains to be seen if the TTP would show a positive mind to Fazl’s initiative for peace.
With the change of command in the GHQ, the focus is not going to change but a reappraisal of whole spectrum may take place with no more APC, an official said.
TTP Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told The News on telephone on Tuesday evening: “Fazl’s claim that he enjoyed confidence of Taliban and the government is his own thinking but we do not trust him or the government.”
The dialogue process advocated by the interior minister was hurt after killing of TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud in a drone attack in North Waziristan Agency on November 1. Chaudhry Nisar’s announcement on floor of the National Assembly that the talks were going to start when they were suspended due to the intervening incident.
Jan Achakzai says JUI-F’s initiative for reviving tribal jirga was party’s own idea in order to provide the government a practical roadmap for talks with the militants. “The government was clueless about how to go about renewing the process. It was merely banking on the reports of intelligence agencies.”
Fazl took not a single step to anger the militants after his APC. He flew to Kabul last month to meet President Hamid Karzai to help him get support of Afghan Ulema of Loya Jirga in approving the security agreement with the US.
Fazl’s initiative would make the government realise that it was bound to continue efforts to appease the TTP for negotiations.
The TTP and Afghan Taliban had criticised Fazl’s Kabul visit saying that he was trying to support the regime which is serving as an American puppet.
The team of clerics who were using their influence on TTP to take them to negotiations is also clueless as to whether the government would call them again to resume their activity or not.