Imran backs military operation if talks with Taliban fail
04 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Thursday expressed support for a military operation against the Taliban if talks with the group failed.
Imran, who remained a staunch opponent of military operation against the militants and called for resolving the terrorism issue through dialogue, said at a news conference that the entire nation would support an operation against the Pakistani Taliban if it were the last resort. He, however, cautioned that extreme care should be taken if an operation is to be carried out. Imran called for structuring the dialogue with the Taliban, saying no methodology has been adopted by the government for talks with the militants so far.
"Talks are not done through media but in a planned way through proper channel," he said. The PTI chief said that once proper talks start, it will become clear which sections of militant groups are sincere with peace in Pakistan and who only wanted bloodshed. However, he said that whole nation would be at the back of security forces if the talks fail and operation remained the only option.
"Enemies of Pakistan want to sabotage the talks with the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan)," he said. Imran said it was decided in the all-parties' conference (APC) that the government would go to the United Nations if there were further drone attacks but this has not been done although four attacks have been carried out after the APC.
Regarding the increase in electricity and petroleum products' prices he said the government was burdening the masses on the directions of the IMF, and worst-ever inflation is going to hit the country. He lamented that PTI, "which is the second largest party of the country", has not been consulted over the appointment of National Accountability Bureau chairman. About the Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) chairmanship, he said there were rumours that the sister of former president Asif Zardari was being given the slot.
Earlier, the core committee of the PTI, under the chair of Imran Khan, resolved to remain committed to dialogue and giving peace a chance. It said this is the only way to identify those who wish to engage in dialogue for peace and isolate those groups that are not prepared to stop violence and terror attacks. The committee said many of these groups are being funded by Pakistan's enemies. It observed that some forces are determined to sabotage the dialogue and peace process and these should be thwarted.
The committee also noted that the government has been given a clear mandate in the APC and it should move on it now. One important step that the federal government must take, the committee said, is that its should fulfil its commitment to take the drone issue to the UN Security Council without any further delay, saying otherwise it will become evident that the federal government is non-serious about the national consensus reflected in the APC. The core committee said that even if a ceasefire is agreed to by all the parties to the dialogue, drone attacks will derail this process. Therefore, stopping drones is critical to furthering any dialogue and peace process.