PPP slams govt,
forms committee
to discuss ceasefire
accord with TTP

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Pakistan has long supported Taliban, thinking that it will boon Islamabad’s security but it has only posed risk to the country. Since the Taliban returned to power, TTP has launched over 124 terrorist attacks in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: Upon Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) announcement of a ceasefire, Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday slammed the Shehbaz government and formed a three-membered committee as he decided to take up the issue in the parliament.
The three-member committee formed by Bhutto-Zardari comprised of Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sherry Rehman and Farhatullah Babar. The banned TTP formally announced an indefinite ceasefire with Pakistan following two days of talks with a grand tribal jirga in Kabul this month, with a major condition of reversal of the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to cut any peace deal with Pakistan.
Considering the parliament as the best forum for a conversation on the issue, the PPP meeting discussed questions like the purpose of the entire exercise, the forces behind it, and the desired objectives, as well as the issue of terrorism in the country, particularly in the light of recent developments in Afghanistan involving Afghan Taliban and the banned TTP.
Pakistan has long supported the Taliban, thinking that it will boon Islamabad’s security but it has only posed risk to the country. Since the Taliban returned to power, TTP has launched over 124 terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

A view of Chaman border between Pakistan and Afghanistan

“If we have to talk to them, we should only negotiate on the terms of surrender,” Former corps commander and inspector general (IG) of Frontier Corps retired Lt Gen Tariq Khan said while speaking to Dawn.
He further said that the condition of the TTP about the reversal of Fata’s merger only raises questions on how a militant group can demand to govern a part of Pakistani territory.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered the country’s premier spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to screen civil servants before their appointments, postings and promotions
This decision comes as the country is deep into political instability and has corruption at stumping levels.
Pakistan slipped three spots to rank 120 out of 180 countries in the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 released by Transparency International. The country was assigned a score of 32 on a scale of zero to 100 — with zero being highly corrupt — which is 11 points lower than the global average of 43.
This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.

Following ceasefire announced by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday formed a committee to engage other political parties for taking up the issue in parliament.

According to the PPP secretariat, the party chairman in continuation of the party meeting on Saturday discussed the issue of terrorism in the country, particularly in the light of recent developments in Afghanistan involving Afghan Taliban and the banned TTP.

ISLAMABAD: PPP’s leader Asif Ali Zardari chairing a meeting of Pakistan People Party’s core committee.

The three-member committee formed by Mr Bhutto-Zardari comprises Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sherry Rehman and Farhatullah Babar.

It may be mentioned that after an in-depth discussion on the issue on Saturday, the party had reiterated its position that the parliament alone was the best forum for a conversation on the issue.

In the first week of this month, the banned TTP formally announced an indefinite ceasefire with Pakistan following two days of talks with a grand tribal jirga in Kabul. The group has set a major condition of reversal of the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to cut any peace deal with Pakistan.

The PPP meeting discussed questions like the purpose of the entire exercise, the forces behind it and the desired objectives.

In a related development, speakers at a consultation here were of the opinion that Pakistan needed to be “assertive” and should negotiate with the TTP from a “position of strength”.

Lawmakers, academicians, former diplomats, retired army officers and experts on security and Afghan affairs participated in the discussion on ‘Afghan peace and reconciliation: Pakistan’s interests and policy options’ organised by Islamabad-based Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS).

Former corps commander and inspector general (IG) of Frontier Corps retired Lt Gen Tariq Khan was not in favour of talks with the banned group. “If we have to talk to them, we should only negotiate on the terms of surrender,” he said.

Referring to the condition of the TTP about reversal of Fata’s merger, he showed surprise and questioned how a militant group can demand to govern a part of Pakistani territory.

Former national coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) Ihsan Ghani was not hopeful that Pakistan would be successful in signing any peace agreement with the group. “If this happened, any such agreement would be an eyewash and short-lived.”