Mullah Fazlullah’s tenure in Swat from 2007-2009 was marked with ruthless beheadings and bloodshed. His brutalities and hard line approach is known to everyone. He was responsible for setting Swat ablaze, once a famous tourist point. He used to incite gullible people through his fiery speeches against the state of Pakistan. He set up illegal Shariah courts. Moreover, Pak Army has also suffered great losses at his hands. He is the one responsible for brutal beheading of 17 soldiers in 2012 besides other terrorist activities. He has also claimed the responsibility of Dir incident resulting in martyrdom of senior army officers.

Now soon after taking over the command of TTP in the aftermath of Hakimullah death, Mullah Fazlullah, the new TTP chief, has dismissed talks with Government and termed them as ‘waste of time’. This not only highlights lack of unanimity and commitment within Taliban rank and file for talks with government but is also a wakeup call for the government to come out of utopia. Taliban have neither been serious for talks nor will they ever be in the future. The first and foremost point for negotiations is that they are held between two parties at par, who accept each other but here they are being held between the government and that entity who does not accept the government at all.

If we move ahead while skipping this fact, when both parties have decided to go for talks then both have to tread the policy of ‘hold on’ but here nothing of the sort was observed from the Taliban side. They have not shown restraint in their activities during the last two months after APC’s decision. Rather they kept on buying time by putting forward pre conditions for talks and continuous attacks and now they have totally discarded the talk’s option as useless. Under such circumstances the Government should also review its strategy of talks.

For how long can it show restraint? Talks are really a waste of time as it is high time for a full fledge and decisive action against the Taliban. Fazlullah is the same ‘Mullah Radio’ who fled his area when Pak Army regained control of Swat in 2009. He can be defeated now as well with proper planning and commitment to wipe out this menace.

MISBAH ATTIQUE,

Islamabad, November 8.