Well. A fine lot of good Pakistan’s efforts since 2006 to make peace with the Taliban have done. The Taliban certainly got what it wanted, but did anyone in Pakistan or elsewhere learn anything about negotiating with jihadists, or about Islamic teachings on calling for a truce?
“Peace talks broken-off, Taliban enters Peshawar,” from CNN-IBN, June 28:
New Delhi: The Taliban has broken-off peace negotiations with the government and it’s followers have entered Peshawar, threatening and intimidating. They say only the Sharia law can now prevail.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps is on the offensive in the Khyber Agency adjoining Peshawar.
Seven hundred troops have been deployed in an operation to flush out the Taliban fighters of Beitullah Mehsud entrenched in the mountains not far from Peshawar. The army is on standby as concerns grow over whether Peshawar will fall to the Taliban.
“Some of the Taliban and the religious militants have made incursions into Peshawar. They have been visiting various local shops and hotels, threatening the people and it is the same kind of movement that has been taking place in Afghanistan and in the tribal areas earlier, ” says Dawn News correspondent, Arshad Sharif.
Mehsud says he has no plans to take Peshawar but adds the rider that he can capture it anytime he wants. He’s broken-off peace negotiation with the government after the offensive got underway.
In recent days, his followers have entered Peshawar and intimidated judges. They have warned people that only Sharia law can prevail and they’ve also shut down women’s polling stations.
People say that religious elements have kidnapped some people from Nauthia area of Peshawar. They also point out that the people living around the area are very insecure.
However, not all people feel that way.
Some say that the people of this city are involved in these incidents. They also add that nobody is coming from outside. “In the end I will say long live Taliban. We want the Taliban to rule.”
For the moment the Frontier Corps is enforcing curfew on the outskirts of Peshawar, while also carrying out what is a limited action against Beitullah Mehsud. However, it may not be long before a full-scale conflict breaks out.
“For the moment,” perhaps, in more ways than one.