Talks with TTP mean talks with LeJ, say Khakis

  • While an All Parties Conference has supported talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, the security establishment believes that holding a dialogue with the TTP would be like negotiating with the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) since there was barely any difference between the two al-Qaeda-linked groups.

    They believe the two jointly plan and carry out terror strikes across Pakistan in pursuance of their common agenda — targeting the state of Pakistan and making it surrender to their whims and wishes.

    A majority of mainstream parties attending the All Parties Conference (APC) organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) asked the government through a resolution to respond positively to the Taliban’s talks offer. But intriguingly enough, the APC resolution didn’t even ask the Taliban to lay down arms and renounce militancy.

    On the other hand, the TTP chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, had already made it clear while extending his offer of talks in a video message: “We are willing to negotiate with the government but would not disarm.”

    Well-placed sources in the security establishment say the February 28 APC was more of an attempt on part of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Nawaz Sharif and Munawar Hassan to appease the TTP leadership which had named them as guarantors of the proposed peace talks while expressing no-confidence in the Pakistan Army.

    In fact, Fazlur Rehman’s APC has overshadowed the Awami National Party’s February 14 APC in Islamabad which had resolved that attaining peace through talks should be the first priority but there will be no dialogue until and unless the Taliban lay down arms, renounce militancy and accept the supremacy of the state to show their seriousness in talks. Significantly, the 157th Corps Commanders’ conference that was also held on February 14 in Rawalpindi reportedly rejected any unconditional talks with the Taliban, as the participants argued that conceding to their demands without making them surrender would amount to admitting the defeat of the state against the al-Qaeda-linked extremists.

    The security establishment is at pains to point out that the TTP has been making peace offers to the government ever since the army has revised its doctrine and declared the internal threat (from the Taliban) as the biggest threat to national security — bigger than India. Many key political leaders at JUI-F’s APC, especially Nawaz Sharif, backed talks with the Taliban and argued that if the US could talk to the Taliban in Afghanistan, why Pakistan couldn’t talk to the TTP. But according to the Khaki circles, the politicians simply ignore the hard fact that the Afghan Taliban are a political movement which had governed Afghanistan and that is still trying to fight out the ‘foreign occupation forces’ to get hold of the government in Kabul once again. On the other hand, the Khaki circles point out that the Pakistani Taliban are al-Qaeda-linked non-state actors; they neither recognise the territorial boundaries of Pakistan nor its government; they have waged an open war against the state of Pakistan and are fighting against the Pakistani security forces.

    Even otherwise, the security establishment pleads, the government will have no moral justification to hold talks with the TTP when it has already ordered a major crackdown against the LeJ, which is an integral and most lethal module of the TTP. The crackdown was ordered in the wake of the brutal massacre of Shia Hazaras in Quetta, with Interior Minister Rehman Malik stating on February 24 in the federal capital that the TTP and LeJ have known links with each other. The TTP has its roots in anti-Shia violence in Pakistan and the LeJ had acted as the training ground for its chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, who is extremely sectarian and has a violently anti-Shia agenda.

    As with most Sunni sectarian and militant groups, almost the entire LeJ leadership is made up of people who have fought in Afghanistan and most of its cadre strength has been drawn from Deobandi madrassas in Pakistan. Pakistani intelligence findings show that al-Qaeda has been involved with training of LeJ members, many of whom had also fought together with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance troops in Afghanistan. The LeJ was long al-Qaeda’s principal ally, even years before the emergence of the Pakistani Taliban phenomenon. After the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the LeJ returned to Pakistan’s tribal areas along with its al-Qaeda allies and assisted in their relocation to Pakistan.

    The LeJ militants later sought to exploit the 2003 Pakistani military operation in South Waziristan to convince the Pashtun tribal Jihadi elements in the northwestern Pakistan to join forces and rebel against the state of Pakistan. This culminated in the birth of the TTP in 2005 and the subsequent insurgency against the state that began in 2006, with LeJ serving as a significant nexus between al-Qaeda and the TTP. The Punjabi militants of LeJ, who were an essential segment within the Punjabi Taliban landscape, actually played a significant role in founding the TTP, with key TTP leaders and associates of Baitullhah Mehsud coming from the LeJ, especially Hakimullah Mehsud, Qari Hussain Mehsud, Mattiur Rehman, etc.

    Both the LeJ and TTP are anti-Shia and anti-US and they employ similar tactics — mainly suicide bombings and fidayeen attacks — to achieve their targets. Their motives and objectives are also the same — targeting the state institutions, law enforcement agencies, secular liberal political leadership, the Shia community as well as the Western interests in Pakistan. Both the groups are al-Qaeda-linked and have jointly launched numerous terrorist attacks against the Pakistani military installations while using highly-trained al-Qaeda militants from Central Asia and Middle East.

    Like the TTP, the LeJ has not only been implicated in terrorist attacks in Pakistan, it has been found involved in conducting terrorist operations across the border in Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai had accused the LeJ (on December 7, 2011) of having carried out the massacre of over 55 Shias in Afghanistan on the 10th of Muharram. His claim was eventually confirmed by none other than the LeJ by claiming responsibility of the attack.

    Some of the major coordinated terrorist attacks jointly carried out by the TTP and LeJ in Pakistan include the December 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi (claimed by al-Qaeda, saying the operation was carried out by LeJ men); the September 2008 suicide attack that destroyed Marriott Hotel in Islamabad (meant to avenge the death of TTP founder Baitullah Mehsud); the May 2009 fidayeen attack on the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army (with the ring leader being an LeJ militant Aqeel alias Usman); the March 2009 attempt to hijack a bus in Lahore carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team (to seek the release of the LeJ’s Malik Ishaq); the March 2010 twin suicide bombing targeting the ISI offices in Lahore (to avenge the death of LeJ’s Qari Zafar); the May 2011 fidayeen attack on the PNS Mehran naval base in Karachi (which destroyed two surveillance aircraft and killed 15 security forces men); the August 2012 fidayeen attack on Kamra Air Base (which destroyed a Saab-2000 aircraft fitted with an Airborne Early Warning system); and the December 2012 fidayeen attack on a PAF Base inside the Bacha Khan International Airport in Peshawar (which killed five security forces personnel).

  • I'm deeply disappointed in all of our political leaders who have recently, or in the past, advocated for a dialogue between the TTP and the government. Although the religious-right and Imran Khan's PTI have been criticizing drone attacks for a lnog time, and stand for a peaceful solution with Talibans, I, for once, thought that ANP and Nawaz Sharif wouldn't agree to these so-called negotiations, which are only aimed to buy more time by the Talibans. ANP leadership is surrendering their long held belief against Talibans to save their own skin, especially after Bashir Bilour's assassination. Nawaz, on the other hand, has to win the center-right vote in the upcoming elections, so he doesn't want to take a principled but risky stand. There is no one tall enough leader left in the whole country who can call a spade a spade; what a pity!

    The only way to deal with Taliban is not by engaging with them in fruitless negotiations but to completely eradicate them from the face of this planet. This is a group of thugs who don't believe in Pakistan's Supreme Court, Parliament, or Presidency. Their main and solo objective is to implement Shariah Law (whatever that is) in Pakistan. After seeing their activities; for instance, burning girls' schools, attacking on UNO workers, and destroying shrines, there is no doubt in my mind that they would want to take the country back to the stone age.

    Is our political leadership that naive to believe that crooks like Hakimulla Mehsood, Wali Mehsood, Ehsanullah, or Moulvi Fazlulla would surrender and lay down their weapons after negotiations or even after the departure of US troops from Afghanistan? That wouldn't happen, not even in a million years. This is a power grab by a handful who possess a very strong and effective weapon in the name of Jihad and religion.

    Our military lost valuables lives during the past several years in the hands of these monsters; negotiating with them now would just dishearten and demoralize the troops. Yes, we may see a temporary surge in the suicide attacks if the nation decides to take on these militants, but that is the only way for a lasting peace in the region.

  • ^^^You want to impose your view and think that whoever doesn't agree with your view is not "tall enough" a leader.

    Yes, these opportunists at APC are, as you rightly said, trying to target the right vote bank before elections and to counter Imran Khan. They are a poor copy of Imran Khan's stance on the issue, and as with all copies, they tarnish the image of the original.

    PTI has to live with the curse of Noon-league in that Noon-league is a poor copycat of PTI. I am pretty sure NS doesn't know anything about the Tribal areas and the issues involved in the operations there, and is just mimicking what IK says albeit in a poor fashion.

    So I can only talk about the genuine product, not the poor quality remakes.

    And here's the genuine product -

    What was and where was the thing called "TTP" before 2005? It was the result of two years of our military operations in Tribal Areas, which involved used of tanks, gunships, artillery in populated area plus American drone strikes then signaled by our establishment, that we started hearing something called "TTP".

    Preceding it was events like Lal Masjid operation.

    The tribes never accepted foreign military in their midst. They fought against Alexander, they fought against the Mughals, they fought against the Britishers, and this is their culture. They became part of federation of Pakistan as a result of an agreement they signed with Qauid-e-Azam. We broke the agreement.

    These tribes have been extremely loyal to Pakistan and it's bulwark in the western border. It is due to these tribal people that we have "Azad Kashmir". They are more than million armed men.

    Only the most foolish person would pick a fight with such of their own people and that foolish and coward person was Musharraf who ceded to American pressure and invaded the tribal areas.

    In the tribes, feuds go on for generations. If you kill their family members, which will inevitably happen when you cannon fire a populated area, subject it to bombing from F-16s, gunship helicopters, drones, what do you expect in return? A bouquet?

    What is TTP but a collection of mostly disgruntled Tribals who feel being wronged? The ideological masters may be someone else, the foot soldiers are those who in their minds, are taking revenge and/or fighting a Jihad against those who oppress their fellow Muslims.

    Why were there no suicide attacks and terrorism of this scale - and heck, even TTP - before 2005, when we invaded the tribal areas?

    We have committed immeasurable wrongs and human rights violations in Tribal areas. We did that in Bangladesh too. All that was charged by hatred and small revenge oriented mentality.

    Have you seen one recent incident in Bara, FATA? Army attack led to deaths of dozens of people inside their homes and those people came with their dead and staged a dharna in front of the governor house. They were forcibly removed a day later. This is a tip on the ice-berg. Won't there be a reaction?

    We attacked our own people, subjected them to military operations, bombing from war planes, drone strikes, artillery shells, destroyed their livelihood, and then when chicken come home to roost, we call for more violence?

    If we keep on fighting, we will keep on killing innocents in the process and we will keep on forcing more and more people to go to the other side, and in the end we would never be killing enough and the result would be immeasurable deaths of our own on both sides.

    We have done exactly that in the last 8 or so years. We have not moved toward a solution but increasing mayhem and destruction. More will continue.

    What is your solution? Wiping the whole tribal areas? And still their won't be an end to it (regardless of the fact that doing so is inhumane in itself)!

    So what is the real solution? Remove the genuine reasons people have for fighting.

    • Stop military operations against Tribal populations. Recognize wrongs committed.

    • Disengage from America war and remove the narrative of Jihad which has now gained grounds.

    • Part of this process is to stop drone strikes, which our government can accomplish if it wishes too.

    When we'll do that, we'll remove the genuine reasons people have to go on with fighting. We will win the heart of tribal people who still love Pakistan after all the injustices against them.

    • Then negotiate with all militant groups and isolate those who are fighting some kind of ideological war. They are a tiny minority. The fuel is provided by genuine injustices.

    These extremists can be handled by the tribal people themselves, and if the need be, military assistance can be provided as part of a coordinated settlement.

    This is PTI's solution. There are multiple groups fighting under TTP. The approach is to first remove genuine wrongs committed, and then isolate these groups into those who are fighting due to some reactionary mentality or those who are hell bent on imposing their ideology upon others.

    Military can never implement this solution. Generals have limited vision. They are fighting and they have revenge oriented mentality. Such breakthroughs come from political leaders who can see beyond and rise above. Any leadership who will solve this issue will have to reign in the army and that will happen through moral authority - credibility in the public.

    Without the prerequisites, talks are only a sham.

    These crooks in the APC have not talked about the prerequisites.

    They do not understand the context.

  • No negotiations, only two options should be given, put down weapons and surrender or prepare to die. These terrorists should be uprooted for once and all, we do not want them bouncing back when it suits them.

  • Don't worry!

    American and Nato forces will be leaving by next year, we will see how peaceful the Talibans will become.

    I see Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi turning into Waziristan.

  • There is only one genuine measure that can stop drone attacks and our own military invasion on FATA; that is, if Pakistani Taliban stop infiltrating into Afghanistan in support of the militants that are fighting against Afghan government and NATO forces. The only reason that drones attacks are taking place is because there is an active support to Afghan resistance from our side of the border. American aren't striking in FATA just because they want to test their drone technology; they are going after the war-lords in Pakistan who are giving shelter and military support to Afghan Talibans.

    FATA has always been a semi-autonomous area; all Pakistani government wants from them is not to use Pakistan's land to fight someone else's war. How would anyone feel if India sends it's militants to parts of the Sindh to protect Hindus who are facing discrimination and oppression by the local Muslim majority. This action, in international law, would be termed as a war declaration against Pakistan by India.

    We need to correct and restrain this concept of being "Muslim Umma" where every Muslim, individually or as a group, can declare jihad against anybody. Afghan war isn't ours; whatever Zia did during his rule was a history, we need to stop this nonsense of intruding into other's affairs. This was the main reason when our troops had to go into FATA to establish the writ of the government because FATA war-lords failed to provide a guarantee to Pakistani government that they wouldn't interfere with Afghan affairs.

  • "Talks with TTP mean talks with LeJ, say Khakis"

    ..and yet in military controlled areas like Quetta LeJ is flourishing no-end.

    پنجابی فوج کے دانت کھانے کے اور دکھانے کے اور-

  • TTP has nothing to do with Taliban in Afghanistan. Taliban in Afghanistan are not Kharjis like TTP. They do not blow up shrines of Sufiya like the Kharji TTP. Many a time they have distanced themselves from TTP.

    TTP’s aim is to impose its own Kharji brand of Islam on the tribal areas and eventually on whole of Pakistan. They are being funded by foreign agencies for their operations.

    TTP wants to negotiate now because they know that once America leaves Afghanistan they will be exposed to Pak Army and this will be the end of them.

    People may say that if America was not able to bring down the Taliban then how can the Pak Army bring down TTP. Well, there are a few differences between TTP and Afghani Taliban. TTP do not enjoy the support of the public, they are seen as forces of oppression rather than liberators by the people Pakistan. This is why the Swaat opp was so successful. Also, some say that Pak army has been playing a double game with USA and that's why USA was not able to bring down the Afghan's. Finally, Pak Army knows the territory a lot better than the Americans. So, in my view, no negotiations unless TTP put down their weapons and accept the writ of government and constitution of Pakistan.

  • نفرت کے سوداگر ا گئے ۔ ان سوداگروں کو ان معصوموں پر بھی رحم نہی اتا جو ان کی نفرت کی وجہ سے نشانا بنتے ہیں ۔۔۔۔۔

  • The biggest criminals are those who justify killings of innocents in the name of religion.

  • لشکر جھنگوی کی سرپرست پنجابی فوج کا پٹھو عمران خان شيعوں پہ حملے پہ مگر مچھ کے آنسو بہا رہا ہے- وہ سلالہ اور نيٹو سپلائی پہ دھرنے کا کيا ہوا؟ اب اباجی کيانی کو ڈالروں کی سپلائی بحال ہوگئی ہے اسليئے سلالہ اور نيٹو سپلائی فوج کے پٹھوؤں کے ليئے حلال ہوگئے-

    Why Pakistan army needs LeJ-ASWJ and other proxy militants: The Kayani doctrine

  • نفرت کے سوداگر ا گئے



    نفرت کے سوداگر وہ مردود ہیں جو اولیاٴ اللہ کے مزارات پہ پر امن لوگوں کو نشانہ بناتے ہیں، جبکہ مزارات کا ڈرونز سے کچھ واستہ نہیں۔ ںفرت کے سوداگر وہ مردود ہیں جو معصوم شہریوں کو بموں سے اڑاتے ہیں۔

    قرآنی حکم کے مطابق، (والفتنۃ اشدّ من القتل) وہ کسی ہمدردی کے مستحق نہیں۔ اور نفرت کے سوداگر وہ ہیں جو ان سے ہمدردی رکھتے ہیں مگر کھلا کھلم اس کا اظہار نھیں کر سکتے۔

  • بھائی نفرت کرو گے تو نفرت ملے گی ۔ محبت کرو گے تو محبت ملے گی ۔۔۔۔۔

    نفرت کرنے والا کسی کا کچھ نہیں بگاڑتا بلکہ خود ساری عمر نفرت کی اگ میں جلتا رہتا ہے ۔۔۔

    میں تو سمجھ رہا تھا کہ لبرلازم کے مامے ہی اس بیماری میں مبتلا ہیں لیکن یہ تو شاہی خاندان کے پچاری بھی پوجا پاٹ چھوڑ کر اس مرض میں مبتلا ہو گئے ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔

    اب دیکھتے ہیں شاہی خاندان اس نفرت کی چنگاری کو جو ان کے پچاری میں بھر گئی ہے کیسے مٹاتے ہیں ؟