Sympathisers of the TTP
By Sabena Siddiqui
The Pakistan government has extraordinary sympathy for the TTP , a band of mercenaries responsible for killings of thousands of Pakistanis. Rightwing political parties PTI , JI and PML N have varying levels of sympathy for the TTP Tehrik Taliban Pakistan , still there’s a huge difference between a political party having a stance and a government having a stance. Once PMLN came into power it should have been on the side of the state rather than terrorists.
These misplaced sympathies are to keep a balance, they say , but who wants to balance out with foreign funded mercenaries that kill without remorse? This camp in favour of TTP was founded with JI issuing controversial statements in praise of TTP leader Hakeemullah Mehsud when he got killed by a US drone . Munawar Hasan further exceeded himself by saying he did not consider Pakistani soldiers killed fighting with the TTP as martyrs while Mehsud was a martyr . One fails to understand that on one hand this camp pretends to be anti US yet is of advantage to the same US in the game being played out in Pakistan.
PTI and PMLN were a bit slow to come out and just made do with criticising the US government for disrupting a proposed dialogue process with the Taliban.Meanwhile , TTP under Mullah Fazlullah became even worse and terrorism increased across the country. The government kept on single mindedly working on the dialogue option without having any strategy at all . Imran Khan’s PTI did likewise instead of strengthening the security of KP their incessant demand was dialogue only.
The terrorists made the best of this opportunity and kept on carrying out attacks while repeatedly saying they were ready for dialogue .Usually ordinary citizens bore the brunt but now their focal target was Pakistan army like any other enemy. In February this year a video was leaked showing the murder and beheading of 23 Frontier Constabulary men that were held in captivity by the TTP since 2010.
Soon after , Omar Khorasani of TTP Mohmand Agency proudly admitted to this heinious crime giving the excuse that the group killed the 23 soldiers to avenge the “killing of Taliban prisoners in the government’s custody”.Now these FC men were kidnapped four years ago and I feel it was right then that the TTP should have been subjected to aerial bombing , sufficient efforts were not made to get these men released .In contrast , the TTP engineered a massive jailbreak in Bannu jail and managed to get high profile terrorists out. Even after this horrendous happening the TTP sympathisers had no sympathy to spare for the army , their heroes were the terrorists. The government’s mood swings were brought to a full stop by retaliatory bombing by Pakistan Air Force on militant hideouts in North Waziristan.About 50 terrorists were killed. Even after seeing the beheaded bodies of our soldiers, the Taliban supporting parties still demanded that the government to stop the action in the name of restoring “peace talks”.
Eventually the air strikes came to a standstill missing the golden opportunity to get rid of the band of foreign mercenaries effectively, at that point in time the area where they found refuge was snowbound. The army had blocked all escape routes and they could have been effectively smoked out even though their leadership hides in Kunar province , an American controlled part of Afghanistan. They were given a one month ceasefire to regroup and restrengthen their fighters , new money would be channelled in by their sponsor countries making them an even bigger menace for Pakistan. The only way to stop terrorism in Pakistan is to stop all this peace dialogue and concentrate on forcing them to give themselves up or disband .Why are terrorists imprisoned in the first place , the need of the hour is speedy trial courts to sentence them. The Pakistan judiciary is amazingly hesitant in handing out sentences to terrorists at times.
Recently the PML-N led government released 19 TTP prisoners as a ‘gesture of goodwill ‘ to terrorists Then the TTP extended the ceasefire till April 10 and expressed the hope that the government would reciprocate its ‘gesture’ with positive steps.
Now their is news that upto 30 more TTP prisoners would be released shortly. The thought that comes to mind that is this government governing the country or making efforts for its destruction ? This government is playing the way as required in the great game of certain powers to weaken Pakistan at the very least. If the government starts showing goodwill to members of TTP, BLA or BRA it cannot be sincere to Pakistan. The government seems to have serious problems identifying enemies. Recently some media houses have been given the task to try and portray the army negatively while terrorists and India and certain other countries are promoted.
A few celebrities and personalities have been brought in on talk shows to make rather unsuitable remarks about the defenders of the nation. Misconceptions have been created about who the TTP are , showing them as local branches of Afghan Taliban. These pretend Taliban have nothing to do with the Afghan Taliban who, at the end of the day are contained within Afghanistan and are only fighting for their country.
These TTP have support of certain foreign powers that oversee their recruiting , armament and training. Some Pakistani TV channels and newspapers were also roped in to highlight and portray the TTP agents in a certain way to get public sympathy , there should be laws to prevent any sort of media from highlighting criminals in this country.
The army should just decide and proceed with what needs to be done after considering the situation on ground and try convince the misguided government to act for the country , not against the country. The vote has not been very successful in Pakistan anyway , it rarely brings in leaders