Pakistani Taliban looking for words
Expressing their willingness for conditional peace talks with the government, the Pakistani Taliban have called for three politicians of the country to act as guarantors for its proposed negotiations with the government for putting a stop to the conflict in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
In a video interview, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsnaullah Ehsan said that if Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) chief Syed Munawar Hasan acted as guarantors for the talks, the group would be willing to negotiate with the government.
How should the government react to this position? Should it approach the politicians that the TTP wants to act as guarantors in order to facilitate the peace talks? What can be the implications of involving the above-mentioned politicians to act as ‘mediators’ instead?
The TTP spokesman has put forth another condition calling for the government to release Muslim Khan, Maulvi Omar and five other Taliban leaders.
Would it be wise to agree to these terms without knowing the TTP’s motive behind the proposed talks? Should a special negotiating team be set up by the government to finalise a set of conditions considered viable by both sides?