Talks best of difficult options to deal with Taliban: Imran

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 13:23

Islamabad: Batting for talks with the Pakistani Taliban despite recent terror attacks, cricketer- turned-politician Imran Khan today cited the "debacle" of East Pakistan to back his view that military operations are never a solution to any problem.

"The debacle of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), which led to the breakup of our country, left me with a strong conviction that military operations are never a solution to any problem, least of all one involving one`s own people," said the chief of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf.

"The APC (all-parties conference) provides the legitimacy for a holistic approach, beginning with a structured dialogue. Military action and war are always the last resort option," he wrote in the News International daily.

He argued that most countries have eventually had to hold dialogue with their people who have taken up arms and conducted acts of terror against the state and civilians.

"Be it the UK with the IRA, the Sri Lankan government with the LTTE, The Philippines with the Moros, India`s Andhra Pradesh Government with the Naxalites, to name just a few cases. Even the US had to hold talks with the Viet Cong and now with the Taliban," he wrote.

Khan said former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had misled the nation about his commitments to the US on behalf of Pakistan.

In the September 2001 APC, where all the political forces present questioned why our country was being dragged into the US-led war on terror, he lied by saying that Pakistan was only providing the US with logistical support, he wrote.

"Through a series of lies, we saw an `invasion` of all manner of US personnel being given freedom of action within our country, with no control or accountability, and renditions of Pakistanis and others - some landing in Guantanamo, others simply disappearing," he added.

Imran, who party rules the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where three attacks killed over 100 people last month, said Pakistan further into an abyss of terrorism alongside drone attacks and military operations as we fell in line with the US militarist approach to the US `war on terror`.

Taking on his opponents, he said when some in the country, "in an accusatory fashion", declare that his party has given legitimacy to the Taliban by asking that an office be set up, they should recognise that it is the APC that used the word "stakeholder".

He added structuring the talks prevents sabotage of the process. "This will also show our sincerity to the tribal people who have the greatest stake in peace today and they can help in isolating the hard core militants."

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 13:23

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