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Monday, March 4, 2024

Have Imran Khan’s secret deals opened floodgates for terror groups to operate freely in Pak?

Taking inspiration from terror-linked Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), other extremist organisations have now also asked Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to remove the ban on their outfits.

“We will be compelled to protest if the government fails to accept our demand,” says Allama Aurangzeb Farooqi, the leader of the anti-Shia militant organisation Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).

“Agar seedhi ungli se ghee nahin niklega, toh ungli tedhi karni padegi,” (If government won’t agree to our demands, we have other options), Farooqi warned the government to release all leaders and remove the terrors acts and make deals with them like it has done with the TLP and TTP. The SSP has launched a social media campaign asking Pakistani PM Imran Khan to lift the ban.

Farooqi was referring to the “secret” deals made by the Imran Khan government first with the TLP after the thousands of violent supporters hit the road for the release of their leader and second was with the TTP for a month-long ceasefire with the help of the Haqqani Network.

“If Imran Khan can talk to them, why not to us, “says Farooqi who claims that his fighters too fought along with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The SSP’s arch rival, the Shia militant outfit Shia Ulema Council (SUC) had also demanded that the ban on Tehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan (TJP) should be lifted just like in the case of the TLP. Despite the ban, the SSP and TJP have continued to function and grow in strength.

Like multiple other terror organisations in Pakistan, these groups also enjoy the freedom to assemble, deliver hate speeches and incite their cadres against other groups and even contest for political positions, including parliamentary elections.

“This is a clear sign that accommodating one or two militant groups will encourage others. Now they are blackmailing the government like the TLP did and, ultimately, the state will lose its writ,” says a Pakistani analyst.

Interestingly the top court of the country had summoned PM Imran Khan and slammed him for making “secret” deal with the TTP.

“If Khan is willing to accommodate lawbreakers, then he is inviting economic sanctions and troubles for his people. He is digging a hole not just for himself, but for his country,” says a Pakistani analyst.

During a briefing of the Pakistani National Security Council last week, the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had also told the parliamentarians that “we have no more than two options about peace in Pakistan, we either have to negotiate with this group (TTP) or fight, but the situation in the country does not allow us to choose the second option.”

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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