Talks are apparently in full swing with the Taliban, committees are toiling hard to further pave way for direct face to face parleys between Pakistani state and the Pakistani Taliban. A new wave of terror has also been unleashed in the already terrorised Pakistan. Political parties are dancing to the tunes of self interest and the state is weaving its own fabric of national interest. Denial has been the order of the day since the creation of Pakistan. The people of Pakistan have been divided by interest seekers in the name of race, religion and culture. Once an inclusive and tolerant society, Pakistan has now been turned into a volatile, confused and violent one. Gone are the days when governments would make, secret behind the doors, compromises or deals, influx of information and ever vigilant vibrant media has been keeping the government on their toes.

Pakistanis have rendered great sacrifices in war against terror in the last decade and are the most important stake holders. Extremist forces are employing anarchist tactics to cow the masses down. Extremist narrative for implementation of faith based laws in a country which is very diverse may result in communal and political troubles. How much talks can change the lives of Pakistanis is a big question. Going back a decade, when the issue of extremism got into mainstream Pakistan, the country was under military rule, if history is any reference one may recall military operations and agreements between militants and military establishment of that time.

It seems that the crux of the matter involves establishment’s stand more than civil government’s initiatives for peace. The intricacies of civil and military relationship hold the key to finding lasting solutions to the menace of terrorism. It seems that civil and military leadership see through different spectacles. The issue has a lot to do with Pakistan’s foreign policy as well which throughout its national history has been revolving around India, Afghanistan and USA. Civil governments have always had different directions on foreign policy than establishments, keeping in mind the history of civil and military relationships and foreign policy. It’s not hard therefore, to make a conjecture about the outcome of talks between the Government and TTP.

Optimism demands that one must not abandon hope. It seems that in the current security situation, civil military relationship is the independent variable.

MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA,

Australia, February 16.