Why PTI and JUI (F) refrain from to become negotiators?
Agha Iqrar Haroon
Some of my teachers and seniors in journalism always teach me that democracy is the only legitimate operatus for those who believe in their vote bank and they are not shy to go to vote. They are strong headed democrats and sometimes I feel they live in Utopian world but latest political developments in Pakistan compel me accept my seniors have a valid point and democracy is really a supremacy that can bring good or bad but common people into power.
The decisions of Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of not becoming a part of peace talks with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) confirm that both parties are confident to stay in parliamentarian system of government in Pakistan. Although this is first term of PTI but its leadership is confident to stay for long in Pakistani politics while JUI (F) always plays well and stay in parliament. It has a strong vote bank of right wing that believes in democratic process.
Those who have presence in Parliament of Pakistan and potential to win elections have refrained from becoming a direct component of peace talks with TTP while those who have no parliamentary future or strong show in elections in past have accepted to become operational and practical part of peace talks as spokesmen of TTP.
TTP is actually fighting for a purist Islam and enforcement of Shariah system in Pakistan on the guidelines of Saudi form of government. This system has no Parliament and no democracy. Selection of Shura by Amir (the chief) runs such system. Laws are interpreted and enforced by the government in the light of explanation of Islamic laws in accordance to Salafi school of thought.
“Now TTP has negotiators including chief of Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl (S) Maulana Samiuh Haq and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Pakstan—both parties have never showed well in any previous general elections and their career in Parliament has almost ended after 2013 general elections. Technically speaking, TTP has faced a serious embarrassment on Monday when two important supporters of TTP left it alone for talks with government. This development is very positive because JI Chief Munawar Hassan always rejected to accept that Shahid ullah Shahid, Ehsanullah Ehsan and such TTP leaders are real and he during his interviews to media persons always said that these are just names who accept responsibilities of killing people or they are Indian sponsored persons and have no link with TTP whatsoever. Now JI is working as negotiators of all these men officially but accepting their presence within the ranks of TTP’, commented a senior journalist while talking to Dispatch News desk (DND). .
Jamiat Ulema e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) announced that it will not be a part of peace process initiated by the government with the Taliban. This was announced by the JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman while talking to media persons following the meeting of JUI-F executive committee in Islamabad on Monday.
The JUI-F leader said that Mufti Kifayatullah will not join peace committee nominated by the Taliban, adding that Mufti Kifayatullah is bound to accept the party’s decision. Sources close to Maulana Fazlur Rehman indicates that Maulana Fazlur Rehman believes that Taliban shall not accept talks with the parametre of Constitution of Pakistan while Maulana Fazlur Rehman is known for his commitment with Parliamentary system and democracy in Pakistan despite of having soft corner for Taliban.
In response to the government’s talks offer and formation of a four-member committee for talks with the Taliban, the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had nominated a five-member team for negotiations.
The TTP-nominated committee included Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, Jamiat Uleme e Islam (S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq, Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Professor Muhammad Ibrahim and former MPA Mufti Kifayatullah of the JUI-F.
Fazl said that the JUI-F was not consulted before initiating peace process. He said that those promises made with the Tribal Jirga were not honored.
While a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) core committee was held in Islamabad on Monday which decided against the party chief Imran Khan’s inclusion in peace committee nominated by the Taliban. In a statement issued by the PTI, it was stated that the party has full confidence on a four-member committee announced by the government, adding that Rustam Shah Mohmand from government’s side will represent the PTI in peace talks.
In response to the government’s talks offer and formation of a four-member committee for talks with the Taliban, the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had nominated a five-member team for negotiation. The TTP-nominated committee included PTI chairman Imran Khan, Jamiat Uleme-e-Islam (S) leader Maulana Samiul Haq, Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Professor Muhammad Ibrahim and former MPA Mufti Kifayatullah of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl. Now Imran Khan has refused to be a part of negotiations and JUI (F) has also asked its member Mufti Kifayatullah to be a part of this dialogue.
PTI chief Imran Khan and core committee of the party gave five clear guiding principles for dialogue, which include:
1 – It must be within the parameters of the Constitution.
2 – To create a positive environment, there must be a ceasefire from both sides, especially an end to terror attacks during duration of the talks.
3 – The talks must be open and transparent so we know how they are progressing; what the impediments are; and who are the saboteurs. We must be prepared for sabotage by enemies of Pakistan.
4 – The prime minister should demand of the US govt an end to drone attacks so that the talks are not droned as happened last time.
5 – Once talks commence, we need time lines so that results can be achieved. Time is the essence as powerful vested interests and anti-Pakistan elements will be looking to sabotage the process.
PTI insiders claim that party leadership (except Imran Khan) facing deficit of trust on TTP and Imran Khan failed to give answer when one of the important leaders of party asked that who could give guarantee that terrorists attack by TTP components including Jindullah, Lakshir-i-Jhangvi and many such outfits will be stopped during negotiations. The majority of PTI leadership was of the view during the meeting that TTP will not accept responsibility of attacks on Shias, armed forces, law enforcement agencies, on polio teams and other government officials during negotiations and peace talks but its other components may attack innocent people. Imran Khan had no answer for such reservations.