Coming two days after the Taliban announced a one month ceasefire, Monday’s suicide bombing in Islamabad that killed 11 people and injured dozens more proves one of two things: The Taliban is either UNWILLING or UNABLE to enforce a ceasefire. It also means that the government’s national security policy, prioritising negotiations with Taliban above all else, is literally insane.
The first possibility is that the Taliban is simply unwilling to stop attacks, despite the government’s begging for mercy. This is not an unrealistic possibility. Actually, it is supported by history.
If terrorism can be countered through dialogue only, why have all the previous attempts to negotiate settlements with Taliban militants failed? The SHAKAI Agreement from 2004, Sararogha peace deal, Mirahshah peace deal, Kalosha in 2004…there is a long list of such dialogues that only ended in increased attacks by these same militants. How many ceasefires and truces have to be violated by extremist militants before we recognize that they cannot be trusted?
The other possibility, and a very real one, is that we have given TTP too much credit, and that in reality they are not in control of all the countless jihadi groups that are terrorising the country. In this case, rewarding their behaviour with the legitimacy that comes with negotiations sends a clear message to other jihadi groups that the most effective way to achieve their goals is to kill as many innocent Pakistanis as possible. In other words, whether the terrorists who carried out today’s attack use the name ‘TTP’ or ‘Ahrarul Hind’ is beside the point – terrorist attacks will continue as long as the government rewards the terrorists who carry them out.
Whichever turns out to be the case, the result is the same: By pursuing negotiations with terrorists, the government is making the nation LESS SECURE and ensuring the MORE INNOCENT PAKISTANIS WILL DIE in terrorist attacks. It’s time to stop the insanity. It’s time to stop pretending that we can keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That’s just insane.