Negotiations With TTP

TTP extortionists using the power of gun and money


Negotiations with TTP are expected to bring a peace to the country. Considering the nature of these organizations involved in these negotiations it makes some sense. Although, as the negotiations progressed, there was a marked escalation of violence. Almost all of them initiated by the TTP or its factions. The thing to keep in mind is this: TTP is unable to control or contain the divergent factions that claim to be a part of it. Any group of thugs and extortionists that uses violence to get what it wants, finds it convenient to claim to be a part of  the TTP. TTP has been more than eager to take credit for most of this violence, and as a result appear to be larger and more powerful than it actually is. For this reason negotiations with TTP have a very low chance of success.

TTP is a decentralized organization, with weak links among the different thug groups. I remember a scene from the movie: The Sum of All Fears. The Russian president claims to take credit for a bombing he never ordered. His rationale was that it was worse to appear without control than to appear ruthless. TTP might be using the same approach.

Lets assume for the sake of argument the government and the TTP come to an agreement. Is this going to mean the end of violence?  Of course not. TTP is helpless to even temporarily control and contain its umbrella group and is already resorting to calling it a foreign intervention. This shows how helpless and useless TTP actually is in preventing violence. So what’s the point of negotiation when the one party is not in a condition to implement the agreed upon points?  One could argue that the bulk of the violent activities might get reduced, at least for some time.

Military is already piling up soldiers close to TTP strongholds. Does it seem plausible that all this expense incurred to move the soldiers here and do military exercises is going to be used for nothing? I believe not.  The writing is on the wall.  The military action is the most logical outcome. This violence is going to continue as the outcome is not going to lead to reduction in opposition to the government imposed violence.

Will this reduce the killing of innocents?  No, it won’t.  The whole thing about guerilla warfare is that there is no concentrated force to destroy. It’s a long drawn out battle. Could it be reduced if the whole FATA is cordoned off and the known and the not so known killed? Probably.  But there are no guarantees, and the whole  mess is a result of government trying to control every facet of the life of the citizens, leading to disillusionment, economic malaise, and eventual retaliation by those who are disgruntled.

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