Pak interested in talks, not clash, with Taliban

In recent statements, Pak officials have rejected the idea of carrying out strict military action against insurgents.

Islamabad: Pakistan seems to be least interested in challenging insurgent groups and is instead more inclined to make peace with them despite America’s growing frustration with Islamabad over its handling of Islamic militancy.

In a series of recent statements, Pakistani officials have rejected the idea of carrying out strict military action against insurgents based in its tribal belt and instead called for truces.

At a recent summit, political leaders issued a resolution that did not condemn terrorism but said their policy is dialogue.

Such moves might have puzzled the US, but analysts believe that Pakistan appears to be in no mood of picking up fights against its homegrown insurgents.

“Everyone went along with what the Army wanted” at the recent political summit, said Rahimullah Yousafzai, a Pakistani journalist and expert on militancy in the northwest, adding: “It became obvious that the military has no appetite for military operations,” The Washington Post reports.

Although many in the country have expressed scepticism about talks, arguing that such efforts had failed in the past, the idea is backed by Islamic parties and other political leaders.

Politicians and security officials said Pakistan views the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella insurgent group that is an offshoot of the Afghan movement, as splintered enough to be open to peace deals mediated through tribal elders or clerics. And the United States, they note, is supporting a similar approach in Afghanistan.

“If by giving a chance to peace, any terror is eliminated, it’s the best option,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik, a leading ruling party figure, said, adding that he had received armistice offers from militants: “They want to talk.”

The relationship between Pakistan and the US had soured following the raid that killed former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, but it worsened recently after the US insisted that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has links with the Haqqani Network.


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