Islamabad: The Pakistan Ex-servicemen Association PESA on Tuesday expressed deep shock and anguish at the targeting of GOC Malakand Division Major General Sanaullah Niazi and others by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP.
The brutal attack came at a time when government had offered unconditional peace talks to TTP which places a big question mark on their seriousness for peace, the former military leaders observed in a meeting chaired by President PESA Lt. Gen Ali Kuli Khan, says a press release. Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim, Lt. Gen Naeem Akbar, former ambassador Salim Nawaz Gandapur, Brig Mian Mahmud, Brig. Riaz Ahmed, Brig. Masud ul Hassan, Major Farouk Hamid Khan, and others were also present in the meeting.
They said that earlier reaction by TTP leaders to the peace talk’s offer appeared to be positive but the sudden change in their stance strengthens doubts that the strings are actually in the hands of some other powers who do not want peace in Pakistan. They added that past peace processes were sabotaged when two of the TTP leaders were killed in drone strikes after they expressed willingness for peace with Pakistan.
The PESA members observed that we have to bear with this tragedy for the sake of peace but acceptance of latest preconditions set by TTP would practically amount to total surrender.
It appears that the government’s unconditional offer for peace talks has been taken by TTP handlers as if coming from a position of weakness which has emboldened them to get on the driving seat.
Series of such incidents have left no doubt that the forces controlling TTP are bent upon destabilizing Pakistan to achieve their ulterior objectives in the region, it was noted.
Our government must deal with the situation in its true perspective. Merely passing resolutions without going in to the depth of these problems will not take us closer to peace, they said.
A very strong message of condemnation should have gone from our political leaders of various shades as meek formal comments will only strengthen position of TTP, the former military strategists said.
TTP’s provocation can be a tactic to put additional pressure on the government which should not be responded in haste or anger and the political process should continue.