Peshawar: PTI is committed to peace and has always felt that this could be better achieved through dialogue. PTI had seen what was happening in Afghanistan where the US with all its money and military prowess could not achieve peace through force. Hence the London and Kabul conferences called for peace through reconciliation and reintegration. Holbrooke also conceded that military action could not bring peace.
Pakistan also played a major role in the Doha process. Within Pakistan 6000 operations including 200 major operations since 9/11 have failed to bring peace. The demand for giving peace a chance through dialogue was a demand of all political parties in APCs from PPP government onwards to the present APC under the PMLN government.
So the demand for dialogue is not simply a PTI position but a national consensual position of all political parties.PTI also gave a framework for talks: within the constitution, ceasefire from both sides and isolating those not wanting talks from those willing to talk.
Unfortunately the saboteurs of peace through dialogue seem to have succeeded and talks seem to be off the table. Therefore PTI’s position is that: One, talks still would have been a better option so targeted action could have been taken. PTI is disappointed at the pre-planned sabotage of forward movement on talks.
Two, however if operation is inevitable as it seems, then the civilian population of NWA needs to be taken out of the area of impending operations as was done for the population of Swat so that innocent lives are not lost as collateral damage.
Three, the PMLN govt must now take political ownership of any military operation and inform the political leadership and the nation. Four, PTI still feels talks are the best way forward for peace but where surgical/targeted operations are needed then the government must create the national consensus and take responsibility by giving a clear cut policy and ensuring protection of civilians – especially to avoid revenge attacks.
Five, PTI’s manifesto talks clearly of Disengage (from US WoT), Isolate, Exterminate. Only through isolating the hardcore militants/terrorists, from those willing to talk, and taking action against them can peace become possible and collateral damage avoidable.