Taliban's response to peace talks offer... By Fazal
07 October, 2013
All hell broke loose when a twin suicide bomb attack killed more than 85 and injured over 145 at a church in Peshawar on September 22, 2013. This was one of the deadliest attacks on the Christian community in the country. The Taliban movement claimed responsibility of the blast, saying that it had set up a new faction named 'Junood ul-Hifsa' to kill foreigners to avenge US drone strikes on Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives. They also said that they would continue to strike foreigners and non-Muslims until the US drone attacks came to a halt.
The suicide bomb attack on the innocent worshipers at the Peshawar church sent a wave of shock among the people belonging to all sects across the country. Many protests against the barbaric killing of innocent men, women and children were launched. The barbarism of the killers was condemned in the strongest terms by almost every segment of Pakistani society. What, however, is a matter of immense concern is how this tragic episode will affect the talks offer made to the Taliban by Pakistan. If this is how the Taliban are going to respond, then the chances of this problem getting resolved through negotiations are very slim.
The time has come for the group on the other side of the divide to take up Pakistan's offer for negotiations. It must cease to carry out such dastardly terror attacks on innocent people to create an atmosphere conducive to productive bilateral talks. If this is not done, Pakistan will unfortunately be compelled to look into other options to deal with the issue.
M FAZAL ELAHI