Can Peace be Negotiated with Pakistani Taliban?


Can Peace be Negotiated with Pakistani Taliban?

The outlawed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) has backed out on its earlier offer to engage in peace negotiations with the government of Pakistan, following a missile attack by a US pilotless plane in the country’s tribal region in North Waziristan a couple of days back, killing Waliur Rehman – the number two in TTP command.

There have been heated rounds of debate on many forums on whether these bird-look-alikes controlled and operated by satellite-backed state-of-the-art technology are in any way helping to quell the problem of militancy and terrorism or what is being termed by some analysts as its antithesis, believing  the drone attacks are only adding fuel to the already raging fire.

The recent drone attack and the withdrawal of Taliban talks offer has sparked a fresh discussion in various circles and media, particularly, in the backdrop of US President Barack Obama’s announcement of their new policy on the use of drones.

It is important to mention here that as Pakistan prepared to go for its historic democratic transition of government, the TTP weeks before the May 11 polls declared democracy un-Islamic and also issued threats to a few political parties of the country, apparently for holding secular views. The parties that suffered the most in the ensuing deadly attacks were Awami National Party (ANP) followed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Was the drone attack timed to sabotage the Taliban peace talks, for which a consensus had almost evolved in Pakistan? If we consider this theory as true, then a question arises, whether or not it is in Pakistan’s interest to sit at the table with the armed-to-the-teeth group that doesn’t even give a slightest damn to the government’s writ or the country’s constitution.

Those who believe drone attacks are wrong because they are tantamount to violating the territorial integrity of Pakistan will have to come up with a strong justification for the presence of militants along the tribal region of the country – because the dangerously armed TTP is also a culprit of the same violation if not worse. The TTP men has not only killed thousands of Pakistani civilians as well as security personnel in deadly attacks, they have also been proudly claiming their full credit without any semblance of qualms.

Some major political parties of Pakistan and other analysts have also been strongly endorsing the idea of engaging in talks with the TTP. They believe that a negotiated settlement of the issue is the only solution to the problem at hand that is getting worse with time.

If it is really so, then who exactly should Pakistan government hold talks with? What would be the terms and conditions of such talks? Will these talks make the Taliban budge even a single inch from the position they have always dedicatedly and firmly clung to in terms of their set of beliefs and resolve to push their agenda?

Mazhar Bughio can be followed on Twitter @mazharbughio



Mazhar Bughio

Web journalist/ writer associated with Geo News/ The News International.


  • M.Saeed

    Drone attacks on militants violate the territorial integrity
    of Pakistan because they also kill innocent civilians in the process. On the
    other hand, dangerously armed TTP attack innocent Pakistanis and country’s
    security establishments to force their ruthless type of governance which makes
    them culprit of the same violation if not worse. Now, what is the lesser evil for the country between devil and the deep sea?

    • NASAH (USA)

      The ‘Lesser Evil’ may be the ELIMINATION of Hakeemullah — may be THEN the Talibans will come to the TABLE to accept the WRIT of the Pakistan STATE and the REACH of the Pakistan CONSTITUTION over their wretched lives and over their traitorous territories.

      TTP is a criminal organization not a political party. Because it uses the name of Pakistan — it MUST submit to the WRIT of Pakistan.

      • Roohan Ahmed

        Saying Right Militants do not negotiate !

    • Anonymous

      Saeed Sb

      The ‘talk’ offer having been withdrawn by the TTP, time to show some muscle on the ground. Time to utilise the media sources more effectively in view of this and before any operation. Drones are not an effective solution from the Pakistani perspective – boots on the ground would be, even if more messy in the first instance and legal too!

    • NASAH (USA)

      After Hakeemullah is relieved from his killing spree the Drones would most probably stop.

  • Roohan Ahmed

    Every country have the right of self-defense. Drones are hitting our areas as our agencies and government cannot establish writ of the state in the affective areas.

    • NASAH (USA)

      Drones are hitting YOUR areas to establish YOUR country’s WRIT over YOUR areas — NOT the United States writ over YOUR areas.

      • Anonymous

        NASAH Sb

        Unless the drones are authorised by the Pakistani government, they are as abhorent and unwelcome as the TTP. Instead of aiding the writ, they have created a messy ‘martyr’ perception in Pakistan.

        • NASAH (USA)

          And you think they are NOT authorized — Naik Mphammed — Baitullah Mehsud — Qari — Waliurrahman — now Hakeemullah?

          Do you really believe that a 600,000 strong Pakistan army that is utterly helpless before a band of blood thirsty desperadoes and a civilian government that is paralyzed with the fear of being assassinated — would not seek HELP from their friends to pick out these criminals one by one?

  • Farooq Hashmi

    Though they are an evil, drone attacks do pay of. It’s the drone attacks which have previously killed the top leaders of TTP, and now Wali-ur- Rehman. One day a drone attack will eliminate Hakeem Ullah,too. INSHA ALLAH !

  • Anonymous

    “What would be the terms and conditions of such talks?” It should be obvious that as a minimum Pakistan’s sovereignity and State writ is not negotiable with the TTP. If these talks were to be totally unconditional from the government side then may as well hand over the reigns to any group of thugs that turns up and demands concession with menaces. At least the use of military force against te TTP by Pakistan government is legal by any standard – unlike drones!

  • NASAH (USA)

    Time for Nawaz Sharif to tell his anxious country – what is negotiable and what is NOT negotiable — with the traitor Talibans.

    • Farooq Hashmi

      He will never even think of what is negotiable with the Taliban traitors and what’s not unless he gets approval from his patron____ a consecrated Middle-Eastern monarch.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    No other humbug is bigger than the ” peace talks ” with the Taliban. The proponents of the ” peace talks ” should have learnt a lesson from the previous instances that the Taliban engages itself in peace talks only to buy time for reorganizing itself.

  • M.Saeed

    A Terror can not be eliminated by a bigger terror.
    Drone attacks from skies on ground terror targets are clearly escalating the terror itself. We shall have to find and establish the facts behind the whole plan in operation for the last 23 years since the start of first Gulf war, much before even beginning to think of any talks with terror.
    Do we know for sure what is the real issue for going into a war by the world’s strongest power against a handful of faceless-stateless illiterate almost nomads?
    Do we know what they want?
    Do we know where from and how they they get their finances to do what they are doing since decades?

    • Anonymous

      Saeed Sb

      That terror from the skies at critical times (before any negotiations start), usually ends up escalating the terror on the ground. If you recall the Damadola incident in October 2006 and ISPR’s Maj General Shaukat Sultan owning it. You may have a few observations of your own cobsidering Gen Orakzai was going to sign a peace deal there the following day and Sultan’s facial expression.

      • M.Saeed

        HASAH & Qalim Sb’an, I was expected such replies but, a question is not an answer to a question. It needs to be appreciated that, often wars have proved as wonderful surgical operations to correct various manifestations of ill-intended wrongs. Out comes of such wars had been invariably positive. Look at astronomical rise of the nations like Japan, Germany, Italy,Turkey, South Korea, Malaya/Singapore-Malaysia and even Vietnam after their wars. Should we expect similar, if not bigger rise for countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and even Pakistan?

    • NASAH (USA)

      The Nazi Terror was eliminated by a bigger terror perpetrated by the Allied powers — in German cities Dresden and Leipzig not a single German house was left standing by the the Allied carpet bombing — it was the German Hiroshima and German Nagasaki that eliminated Nazism — same way the Japanese Terror machine surrendered before the Mother of all TERRORS the nuclear bomb.

      Not that I advocate fighting terror with bigger terror — but at some point a red line has to be drawn between the Taliban and the rest of the Pakistan — the high maintenance Pakistan army has to take on the Taliban enemy on ONE to ONE basis and smash it into thousand pieces — meanwhile picking the criminal godfathers of this nefarious outfit one by one is not a bad idea — considering 40 thousand INNOCENT Pakistani men, women and children and 5 thousand Pakistani soldiers have ALREADY been killed by these genocidal maniacs.– and more killings are on the way.

    • Anonymous

      “Do we know where from and how they they get their finances to do what they are doing since decades”….and who supplies the arms?

      The TTP problem could be more easy to address with answers to the queries above.

    • NASAH (USA)

      “Do we know where from and how they they get their finances…”.

      Good question!

  • Zubair Khan

    To me dialogue should be given a chance as percieved by PML (N) and PTI. Probably it will not bring any solid conclusion. But what is the harm in trying a possibility. Can USA also facilitate one chance?

  • Ali Humayun

    A Group of X Criminals, With Huge and most advance Weapons Depot, and history of most cruel atrocities. Known for beheading people just for not wearing salwar kamez. Negotiations with them, It can surely win Guinness world most stupid idea record.

    TTP of Pakistan, we must crush them eliminate their very existence or be destroyed ourselves.

  • malik

    Ok, waste of time here… btw, Talib is everywhere but not in the closet…

    • Farooq Hashmi

      So it implies that you are yourself a terrorist. Is that right ?

  • Farooq Hashmi

    It’s painful to envision the horrible consequences which my native country,Pakistan will have to face after a USA drone is shot down. Influenced by the propaganda of a bunch of injudicious jingoists,if some foolhardy elements shoot down a USA drone, the ramification of that act will be horrifying. Pro-shooting down propaganda is a disservice to Pakistan.

  • NASAH (USA)

    What kind of stupid crazy personal attack is that? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    BTW everybody who cares about the innocent Pakistani men women and children being slaughtered daily — is waiting for the droned-demise of that “Jahannami:” mass murderer Hakeemullah Mehsud.

    • malik

      was that personal attack???? ooops… lol… im just saying that War On Terror is actually War against Muslims, its modern crusade (yess it is)…. idk Y western Armies destroying villages in Af. and Irq., killing innocents and supporting rebellions in muslim countries

  • NASAH (USA)

    So how come the army could not establish its writ and 5 thousand SOLDIERS are already dead — pls quit supporting the enemy and BASHING YOUR FRIENDS..

  • Farooq Hashmi

    Ignorant men are dangerous but the conceited ones of those, who coerce others into ignorance are more dangerous. Pogonophile(even pygophile) TTP men fall under the second category.

  • Patriot

    If war is the only solution for war-on-terror then tell me one thing y terrorism is still alive since 2001 ? Bcz more attacks more terrorism, hv u heard any news about suicide attack before 9/11 in any part of this earth? NO, bcz we killed innoccent people & their depandents made themselves terrorist. Its not our war, its american war, USA needs to penetrate in other regions its their old habit, now y r we wasting our time, money & life by supporting USA in this so called drama war, Negotiation Negotiation & Negotiation is the only solution left which can bring peace otherwise circumstances will be more worst. Think!

    • Farooq Hashmi

      The suggestion of ” negotiation ” with the Taliban is irksome. The term ‘negotiation’ implies the practice of ‘give and take’. It’s an open secret that the Taliban’s sole design is to do away with Pakistan so that it could establish esoteric caliphate in Pakistan’s territorial regions it captures. In other words, the Taliban is the enemy of the state of Pakistan.As the term ” negotiation ” insinuates ‘ give and take’,will you surrender Pakistan to the Taliban and ‘take’ from it the security of Pakistanis’ lives in return? If your heart is in the right place, you would never advocate a ” negotiation ” with the Taliban. On the contrary, you would go for hanging its apprehended members publicly.The plea that the military action operative since 2001 is counter-productive, does not hold water. Some times in the lives of nations, struggle for self-preservation lasts for centuries.Likewise,the nation of Pakistan is fighting a war against the religious impostors,for its self -preservation.The Taliban’s agenda is to kill,and in order to carry it out it does not differentiate between the friends and the foes.A few years ago the Taliban had treacherously killed Colonel”Imam” who used waste his breath in its praise on Pakistan’s TV channels. Years before that astounding incident, theTaliban had meted out the same treatment to their friend and advisor, Abdul Haque.

  • Ali Humayun

    Lol look at the Talib standing on most right side. His rocket is shoved upon sugarcane

  • M.Saeed

    The foremost prerequisites for success in a negotiated
    settlement are genuine intents and stress-free minds capable of interaction in
    an atmosphere of give-and-take sensibilities.
    You cannot negotiate with a
    predatory animal to stop killing and start grazing to live an herbivore life.

  • M.Saeed

    This discussion is going wide astray. Let me let remind of the following facts for posterity to contemplate.

    1) The US administration had openly accepted (Madeline Al-bright as Secretary of State) that, “Killing of over 500,000 Iraqi children under the sanction through UN, were acceptable collateral damage in safeguarding the interests of “American people”.
    2) Days before the first ever Drone Attack in the northern areas, the Chief of Army (Kiyani) and the Chief of ISI (Pasha) had met the then US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen on board USS Abraham Lincoln anchored at a location in the Indian Ocean, far away from Pakistani territories.
    3) Before his release after 25 months of confinement in Guantanamo Bay Prison, Abdulllah Mehsud, the founder of TTP and brother of Baitullah Mehsud was fitted with a highly effective and costly prosthetic limb. American authorities later claimed that he had originally been a prisoner in the Guantanamo bay detainment camps, who was judicially released and subsequently “returned to the battlefield”.

  • S Nasrullah

    Reconciliation is often a crucial factor in the process of building and maintaining a nation. In a perfect world, justice and reconciliation would work together to resolve collective grievances and break cycles of recrimination. Those who scoff at the prospect of negotiating with Taliban clearly show their rancor and rabid perception of Taliban sullied by sleaze.

    As it is the centrifugal forces in Baluchistan, aided and abetted by the parties inimical to the solidarity of Pakistan are wresting away the Federating Unit. FATA, by its nomenclature, is an Independent Area Federally Administered by Political Agents and the ordinary laws of Pakistan do not apply there. Recurring oppressive measures against them have already vitiated the environs with bloody reprisals and further forceful actions would push them to the precipice and a point of no return would inevitably lead to break-up of Pakistan.

    The mighty conglomeration of US and NATO Forces failed to subdue Taliban and it would be ludicrous to believe that Pak Military could subjugate Taliban and force them to give up their arms and voluntarily mortgage their freedom. The views expressed by Patriot are pretty sane and sensible.

    ( I have been away to UK on a personal visit for a week and couldn’t participate in the enlightened discussion)

    • Farooq Hashmi

      Welcome back my dear friend,Mr.S.Nasrullah. While I’m glad that Patriot has gratified you with his ” pretty sane and sensible ” views, I thank you for bearing with me in spite of my ” ugly insane senseless ” views……LOL.I said that in a lighter vein.

      • S Nasrullah

        My dear Mr Hashmi, within hours of your graceful comment, I acknowledged it and the ineptness of the Moderator has stayed my sentiments for so long. Mr Hashmi, your style, expression and choice of words is a pure delight for admirers of English literature.