Islamabad: Opposition leaders in Pakistan on Monday slammed the Imran Khan government in the Senate over the establishment’s “policy of appeasement” towards terrorist outfits, saying that talks with such groups has emboldened and encouraged anti-peace actors in the country, according to a media report.
Opposition senators voiced concern over talks with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which were being held through a government (Afghan Taliban) not recognised by any country, reported Dawn.
Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmad questioned as to who negotiated with the TTP, and what the terms of these talks were. He also sought an explanation from Sheikh Rashid, the interior minister, over his statement about the presence of terrorists’ sleeper cells in Pakistan.
No talks were currently being held with the TTP since their demands were considered to be against the country’s security interests, said Rashid in response to the question.
Senator Ahmad also regretted that terrorists and target killers ruled the roost and demanded that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf be brought to Pakistan and tried for his surrender before the US and the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti.
Leaders of the opposition parties also said that the recently unveiled National Security Policy be discussed in the Parliament and that an internal security policy, as well as the Afghan strategy, should be framed in light of that discussion, according to Dawn.
It came after Sheikh Rashid last week had said that the Pakistan government’s talks with the TTP broke down due to the latter’s harsh conditions.
“We had a talk with some TTP groups. But their conditions were such that they couldn’t be agreed upon,” Samaa TV quoted Rashid as saying.
The Minister had also informed that the talks with TTP were being mediated by the Afghan Taliban as the latter had guaranteed their soil would not be used against the Taliban.
“The Taliban were talking to the TTP. But their demands were so harsh that talks could not proceed,” said the Minister, adding that “the TTP broke the ceasefire and that is why there is a spike in terror attacks.”
Recently the number of attacks by the TTP in Pakistan has surged. Earlier the Pakistan government and Prime Minister Imran Khan had accepted that they were in talks with TTP.