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Govt-TTP peace talks: Religious leaders express mixed response

November 13, 2021
Govt-TTP peace talks: Religious leaders express mixed response

LAHORE: Religious parties’ leaders in the country have given a mixed response over government-Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan peace negotiations. Chairman Sunni Ittehad Council Sahibzada Hamid Raza termed the negotiations with TTP as betrayal with the martyrs that cannot be tolerated.

Hamid Raza warned that Talibanisation had destabilized Pakistan and the TTP was a terrorist organization, which must be brought to book instead of holding peace dialogue. “How come those who targeted places of worship and innocent people and children be forgiven. TTP is also a rebel against Islam and Pakistan.” He demanded the government to inform the nation about the details of the talks with TTP.

Expressing shock over the government’s talks with TTP, Pirzada Mohammad Amin said it was beyond comprehension, how the killers of armed forces’ personnel, innocent citizens and schoolchildren could be forgiven.

Commenting on the government’s peace dialogue with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Tanzeem-e-Islami (TI) Ameer Shujauddin Shaikh said establishing peace in the country must be the utmost priority of the rulers, adding that all conflicts needed to be resolved on the negotiation table, but TTP was accused of committing the worst violence and bloodshed of innocent civilians and children, therefore, the sentiments of victims’ families, especially the parents of martyred children, must be taken care of.

He demanded that the TTP must openly apologize to the victims’ families and also guarantee that its affiliated groups would shun violence in future and dissociate themselves from foreign elements. He added it would be fair that state institutions should admit and repent on lapses on their part in the past.

Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith Naib Ameer, Dr Abdul Ghafoor Rashid, supported the government’s dialogue with TTP, saying if TTP renounces violence, lays down arms, recognizes the Constitution of Pakistan and moves towards establishing peace and democracy, then talks should be welcomed in the larger national interest instead of creating obstacles. He added negotiations to end violence should be welcomed since Pakistan had been a victim of foreign-sponsored violence and terrorism for a long time. He said terrorism had always wreaked havoc, but it was worth considering why the terrorist incidents could not be preempted. He also questioned the performance of intelligence agencies and added that those who were responsible, should be held accountable. “Pakistani forces rescued the beloved homeland from this scourge by taking action against extremists and terrorists. Pakistan has sacrificed the lives of more than 80,000 soldiers, police officers and civilians in the war on terror. The result of these sacrifices is that the law and order situation has been restored,” remarked Dr Abdul Ghafoor.