Pak’s two-tracked approach to deal with Taliban

May 3rd, 2009 - 6:11 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Lahore, May. 3 (ANI): As the Pakistani military’s offensive against Taliban continued for the fourth day in Buner, the North West Frontier Government has resumed talks with the Pak-Taliban in a bid to keep the peace deal intact.

The two-tracked approach, however, is facing flak from people supporting just-signed peace deal, and also the United States, the Daily Times opines.

The move also raises questions about Pakistan’s willingness to heed US pressure for an all-out offensive against the Taliban, it adds.

Earlier, officials who met TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad on Friday described the 30-minute meeting as “positive” despite the government’s refusal to halt the fighting in Buner and Lower Dir.

“The operation will be halted when the armed people lay down their weapons because the government has to establish its writ at any cost,” the provincial information minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, said.

The contradictory situation is likely to be discussed in next week’s meetings between US President Barack Obama and his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts in Washington, the report says.

Pakistan President Asif Zardari and General Ashfaq Kayani, who see India as enemy No. 1 and the Taliban as a mere distraction, will have to endorse American point of view to please the US.

In February, deal’s main plank was- allowing sharia law in the region - was meant to appease locals drawn to the Taliban by the their promise to do away with courts seen as inefficient and corrupt, the paper notes.

The Taliban said the pact allowed them to control these territories to ensure that sharia was enforced, a claim the government disputes.

When they set about taking control the military moved. Pakistani officials say once the on-going military operations push the Taliban back into Swat, the deal can go back into force. (ANI)

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