Press Release, 13 October 2021, Women’s Action Forum
Khawateen Mahaz-e-Amal (Women’s Action Forum – WAF) finds it hard to believe that Prime
Minister Imran Khan has announced negotiating a “peace deal” with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) when peace, as a concept, policy and strategy, is neither part of TTP philosophy nor practice.
Trained to kill, TTP only knows violence. It speaks no other language.
The PM might have forgotten them, but the grief of APS killings; the loss of 80,000 lives and
the agony of the survivors, remains fresh in our hearts, along with memories of TTP rule of terror in
Swat and numerous attacks in ex-FATA districts – requiring repeated military operations.
Nightmarish images of singer-dancer Shabana (shot six times in her genitals as punishment for
what TTP called an “immoral” lifestyle); a 17-year-old girl’s body pinned to the ground by bearded
men as she was publicly, mercilessly flogged by another bearded man; destruction of hundreds of
girls’ schools; attacks on schoolgirls like Malala Yousafzai, bravely claiming their Constitutional
right to education. The very name of Khooni Chowk in Mingora – just one site of countless public
beheadings of innocent Pakistanis – bears witness to the TTP’s brutal mindset and modus operandi.
WAF reminds the PM/PTI government that the TTP’s ouster from Swat, after army action, only
temporarily contained militancy – but did not change the TTP’s extremist ideology and worldview,
or end terrorist activities across Pakistan: bomb blasts in markets, hotels, mosques, imambargahs,
churches, temples, gurdwaras, police stations, schools, hospitals, courts, buses, railways – all “in
the name of Islam”.
The PM is reminded that the TTP’s entire existence, identity and economic viability derives only
from terrorism, extremism and militancy, thinly garbed in “religiosity”. Hence, why would TTP
accept the PM’s offer of “forgiveness, peace, reconciliation and social integration”
(mainstreaming), resulting in the TTP leadership’s loss of face and power among its followers?
While we might not question the PM/PTI government allegations of TTP-claimed terrorist attacks
being funded by foreign agencies, they raise serious questions about TTP’s credibility and
reliability as a future ally. Given TTP’s links and numerous networks/affiliates, how will the PM
ensure that TTP gives up its nexus with hostile foreign agencies after signing a “peace deal” with
the PTI government?
TTP is a mercenary militia – raising funds through violent coercion, targeting those it is paid to
kill. How does the PM plan to compensate TTP’s future financial losses? Does the PTI government
have the requisite financial and human resources, for doubtful de-radicalization, skills training,
economic sustainability, social integration and mainstreaming?
Would it not be wise to spend Pakistan’s scarce resources on providing shelter, potable water,
universal public education, healthcare, family planning, sewerage, sanitation, public transport,
environment conservation, food security, poverty eradication, and access to affordable justice, to
all deserving, law-abiding Pakistani citizens, whose well-being is the state’s Constitutional
Army action entailing a heavy loss of precious lives pushed the TTP underground and out of
Pakistan. How would its honourable return as the PM/PTI government’s “friend and ally” affect
army morale – especially of our brave jawans and LEAs? TTP is known to renege on its promises.
It declared war against the State, Constitution and Institutions of Pakistan.
If/when there is yet another failed “peace deal”, how will the PM/PTI government ask our brave
jawans to lay down their lives yet again, facing such a treacherous adversary? Indeed, if the
PM/PTI government is brazen enough to ask them, what guarantee is there of the
military/paramilitary forces’ compliance?
Actually, TTP has already spurned the PM/PTI government’s magnanimous amnesty offer. Is
anyone surprised, including the PM/PTI government? The TTP sees this offer as a sign of
weakness and surrender, responding with increased terrorist attacks.
Terrorism has very serious implications for national, regional and global peace. Such critical
decisions regarding TTP, and similar banned terrorist organisations, must not be taken unilaterally
and autocratically by the PM/PTI government. This issue must be placed before Parliament and
opened up for public debate, before any decision can be taken.