ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Thursday urged the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government to create a “conducive environment for talks and reconciliation” with Taliban.
“Let us try to create a conducive environment for talks and reconciliation, otherwise we will end up fighting insurgency for years and the chance for national building will be lost for decades,” a JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai quoted Maulana Fazlur Rehman as saying.
The JUI-F which has already decided not to play any mediatory role in peace talks with Taliban warned the PML-N government of a “complex situation” after withdrawal by the militant organisation of its offer for talks.
Achakzai said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman believed that reconciliation with the Taliban would not be possible if coercive measures continued to be taken.
“We have to take them on board, otherwise we will not be able to maintain sovereignty in Fata whether because of Taliban challenging the writ of the state or drones violating our sovereignty,” said the Maulana.
According to the JUI-F chief, nearly 50,000 people had so far lost their lives because of terrorism, but if “we do not find a solution, there will be more losses incurred”.
Maulana Fazl said it was understandable that the establishment was not ready to talk to Taliban as “our officers and soldiers are dying”. But, he claimed, military operations had not contained militancy over the past decade and it was time “to face it straight”.
The JUI-F chief suggested that “work should start soon to remove the disconnect between all stakeholders on Fata and the Taliban insurgency.”
A few days ago, the JUI-F chief had stated that his party was no more interested in playing any role in bringing Taliban to the negotiating table after realising that the country’s powerful establishment was not in favour of any such process.
He claimed to have the information that the army had no interest whatsoever in peace talks and reconciliation and, therefore, there was no environment for any talks.
Soon after May 11 elections, the JUI-F and the PML-N had started discussing a power-sharing formula and the two parties had also constituted committees to finalise it.
Earlier, the JUI-F had claimed that both parties had agreed that talks with Taliban would be held through a “grand peace jirga” as agreed by the mainstream political parties in a “declaration” at all-party conference organised by the JUI-F in Islamabad on Feb 28.
But now the JUI-F feels that the PML-N appears to have lost interest in it after the Taliban withdrew the talks offer in the wake of the killing of their important commander in a drone attack.