Pakistan Urdu Press: December 6-12, 2011
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  • Some of the Pakistani Urdu Dailies have welcomed the talks between the Taliban and the government of Pakistan. The editorials of the Khabrein Urdu Daily, the Nawa-e- Waqt and the Mashriq have advised Pakistan not to give up these talks under external pressure.

    Pakistan should negotiate with Taliban without giving in to US pressure: Khabrein

    Editorial (excerpts) December 12, 2011
    Taliban commander Maulvi Faqeer Mohammad has claimed that there has been breakthrough in talks with the government of Pakistan and as a goodwill gesture, 145 Taliban fighters have been released by the government. If the talks succeed, peace agreements would be signed first in Bajaur, then in Swat, Mohmand Agency and in other areas. The editorial says that confirmation of talks by the outlawed Taliban is a welcome development.

    The Taliban say that they have no quarrels with the government and the military forces. This statement proves that they also want to work for the betterment of Pakistan. Here we want to stress that Pakistan should negotiate with Taliban without giving into the US pressure as the US has always dissuaded Pakistan from talking to Taliban, while itself being engaged in negotiations with the Taliban. Now, since the talks between the Taliban and the government have started, they should continue unabated. The US should also take this fact in consideration that the only way to peaceful withdrawal from Afghanistan is through the talks with Taliban. The Taliban has control of more than 60% of Afghanistan and are ready to fight to free Afghanistan from the US presence on their territory.

    There is no doubt that Taliban’s increasing influence could be checked through talks and co-opting them into the mainstream so that they could once again play an active role for the country’s progress. This is the best time to correct the mistakes executed by former dictator Pervez Musharraf as the seeds he sowed are becoming trees. Before the trees strengthen their roots deeper in the ground, the government should continue talks with Taliban.

    The talks with Taliban and other militant groups would be a guarantee of peace in Pakistan: Nawa-e- Waqt

    Editorial (excerpts) December 12, 2011
    The indication that the government and Taliban have held talks came from the statement made by the Interior Minister Rehman Malik who thanked Taliban after peaceful conclusion of Muharram. During a ceremony organized by a private TV channel, Prime Minsiter Yousuf Raza Gilani also indicated that talks with Taliban are part of the government policy. Therefore, the talks with Taliban and other militant groups will guarantee peace in Pakistan.

    America has been holding negotiations with different groups of Taliban and has sought assistance from Pakistani Intelligence Agencies, including the ISI. It has also taken help of some of the Arab countries for the last one year for this purpose. However, when the issue of Pakistan’s talks with the Taliban rises, the US alleges Pakistan of aiding terrorists and threatens Pakistan instead.

    Now, following the Salala check-post attack, the situation has changed. TTP has expressed happiness over government’s strong steps following the NATO attacks. In this congenial atmosphere, the fighters should be persuaded to path of peace. If we take these steps, the NATO forces would be compelled to leave Afghanistan as they would face resistance from two sides. The enemy is weak and driving the enemy back is the best war strategy. Today we should adopt this strategy towards the NATO which is our enemy.

    Pakistan should ignore the external pressure to postpone the talks with Taliban: Mashriq

    Editorial (excerpts) December 12, 2011
    The news of negotiations between TTP and Government of Pakistan is doing rounds in media. However, the government has not yet confirmed this. On the other hand, TTP’s Naib Ameer, Maulvi Faqeer Muhammed, has neither confirmed nor denied these reports. There is no doubt that these dialogues have indeed taken place. Interior minister Rehman Malik’s statement expressing his thanks to the TTP for peaceful conclusion of Moharram is an indication in that direction.

    We should welcome the reports of talks and should hope that Pakistan will not take into account the external pressure to postpone the talks. Especially, the US has never encouraged the talks between the government and Taliban and Pakistan had nullified the agreements with Taliban in the past because of the US pressure. Had the Pakistan government resisted US pressure in the past, the peace accord with the Taliban would not have been broken.

    Following the developments post Salalla checkpost attacks by the NATO forces, Pakistan is free from the US pressures and this has lead to some breakthroughs in the negotiations with Taliban. In case the government reaches an agreement with the Taliban this time, it should include a clause in the agreement that the both the parties would withdraw from the peace accord under any external pressure.

    TTP has recently said that only Pakistanis have a right over the country’s geographical territory. This statement should be welcomed. It is hoped that both the parties would keep Pakistan’s interest sacrosanct and will make sincere efforts to make the negotiations successful.

    If this process continues it will certainly ensure peace in Pakistan and will pave way for an accord between the Afghan Taliban and the West. The US is also trying to hold talks with Taliban. Now it should not try to impede the process.

    Translated and complied by Shamshad A. Khan and Amit Julka, Research Assistant and Research Intern respectively at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.