ISLAMABAD: Senator Irfan Siddiqui, head of the government committee that negotiated with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the previous PML-N government, has said that the military leadership was not ready for talks at that time. There was no support from the military leadership.
In an exclusive interview with Urdu News, Irfan Siddiqui said that Nawaz Sharif had already made up his mind to establish law and order and resolve the energy crisis even before the 2013 elections. He said that the talks with the Taliban were Nawaz Sharif’s own decision first and foremost.
He said that on September 9, the Prime Minister convened an all-party conference in which all parties were present, including the military leadership, then Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was present and the military leadership gave a briefing. I was a participant.
He said that it was unanimously decided in the meeting that we should not carry out any operation or killing and especially Imran Khan was adamant that we should move forward through peace.
To a question, he said that the military leadership at that time was not uniform but many people say that before the speeches of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, consensus building and formation of negotiating committees, the military leadership had made a decision that we should carry out the operation. And they thought that Mian Sahib might be about to announce this operation even though he had no such intention.
The head of the former government committee set up to negotiate with the Taliban claimed that they did not receive any assistance or advice from the military leadership during the negotiation process. Didn’t have an impression.
When asked about the seriousness of the Taliban in the negotiation process, the special assistant to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that the Taliban did not show any seriousness, their leadership was not uniform, we were talking to the shura but The Shura itself used to tell us that many people are out of our command, they commit incidents after which we are held responsible.
“We asked his council to disassociate itself from such people and condemn them, but they did not do so, so the talks were hesitant and the matter could not move forward,” he said.
Irfan Siddiqui said that a stage came during the negotiation process when Khalid Khorasani martyred 23 FC personnel who were abducted many years ago in the days of negotiations. He was trying to prevent this from happening.
He said that after that we suddenly found out that Zarb-e-Azb has started. Mian Sahib called a small meeting in which senior leadership including Chaudhry Nisar and me were also present and we expressed regret at the start of the operation. What
“After the talks failed, we also felt that maybe there was no other option but we should have taken it into confidence,” he said.
The well-known columnist further said that after that Nawaz Sharif asked Chaudhry Nisar to go to the assembly and inform about it because we cannot say that this decision was taken without us. However, Chaudhry Nisar apologized to the Prime Minister. Suggested that they discuss the matter themselves.
He said that after that Nawaz Sharif went to the assembly and after explaining the background of the negotiation process, announced the launch of the operation.
He said that the big difference between the current negotiating environment and the previous one was that the then Prime Minister had taken this step with the confidence of all stakeholders and Parliament.
Irfan Siddiqui said that in PML-N government there was no talk either secretly or behind closed doors but today no one knows what is happening, National Assembly and even government members do not know that Who is negotiating with whom, on what terms, what is going to happen in the coming days and because of this there is a state of chaos.
He said that our government had an anti-Pakistan government in Afghanistan so we did not expect any kind of cooperation from there at the government level but today the environment is relatively favorable.
However, he said that despite the favorable environment, the terms of the talks between the current government and the Taliban were more or less the same as they were at that time and it was not possible for the government to meet such conditions.
Expressing doubts over the success of the talks, he said that even if somehow the talks are successful, there are several factions of the Taliban and not all of them are under the command of the Shura so the terrorist activities cannot be stopped.