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Government's predicament... By Rehman

17 January, 2014

In his latest interview on his way to Swat to one of the national news channels, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has said that he is ready to seek help from Maulana Samiul Haq, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Imran Khan to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the country. He said that he does not want to go solo in this fight against the terrorists. While in Swat, the PM said that the terrorists are not enemies, they are our people gone astray. The Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmed in his weekly press conference last Sunday has given a mixed message, where at times he called the Taliban insurmountable and in the same breath called them amenable to talks. There are some groups according to the minister who are ready for talks while others are unwilling. Though the nation knows which group is against sitting across the table with the government, it however does not know about the groups in favour of talks.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's (TTP's) new leader Maulana Fazlullah minces no words in condemning Pakistan's offer of dialogue. In fact the recent reports following Chaudhry Aslam's assassination show that the group has become emboldened and were found saying that they had been guaranteed Karachi's control by none other than the government. Their targeted operations against police officials and politicians have become intense over the past few weeks. Is it something to do with revenge for Hakeemullah Mehsud's death, which the TTP had warned to take from the state? Or is just a change of heart of the group, from mass civilian casualties to security officials' targeted killing? The unfortunate part of the entire game is that the government is confused on how to take on the terrorists while the terrorists are clear in their strategies, plans and actions to destabilise and annihilate the state of Pakistan. The nation deserves to know the truth. One hopes that in the coming Sunday the interior minister's press conference would delve upon this issue.

Rehman Sheikh

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