Let me know, Mr Khan

How can we negotiate with criminals and terrorists?

Mr Khan, how do you think this process of dialogue with the Taliban must commence with? What forum is the best for this purpose? Who are bad Taliban and who are good Taliban, the terms you use to distinguish between them? Where has this concept of good and bad terrorists originated from? And how precisely will you be able to go for the good Taliban?

Mr Khan, I have no qualms in agreeing with you that brutality, state force and aggression must not be used to overcome the forces of dark, at least illegally. But does that give justification to all such evil forces to propagate their oppressive ideology? Does it mean that Pakistani soldiers must be kidnapped and beheaded openly, the brutal act captured on video only to be released to the media later on? Does it mean that criminals may go unpunished? Does that mean they should launch attacks on institutions, mosques, schools and other government installations? Does it justify challenging writ of the state through guns, explosives and mortar shells?

No, my dear Mr Khan, it does not.

Even if someone belongs to a downtrodden stratum of the society, it still does not give him the right to take up arms against the state. It does not mean that he should be aggressive against his own people or he should kill innocent kids going to schools. He must not have opened fire on innocent Malala just for having a different viewpoint from their barbaric interpretation of Islam.

Mr Khan, if someone does commit such brutality, justice must take its course come what may. Every possible force must be exploited to stop him from committing the offence. No recognition, or amnesty, should be extended to him as he is a terrorist and criminal. Neither law nor any political party has the right to award pardon to all these criminals without paying for what they have done. Khan sahib, this is exactly what our religion and law say.

Negotiations with these elements would bring nothing but recognition to such anti-state groups. Whether they are angry, deprived of certain facilities or victim of state aggression, as you claim they are, it still does not substantiate your argument of starting a dialogue with them. The state must have the authority to hold them to account, whatever the reason they claim to have to take up arms against the state, its laws, its people or its institutes.

The factors behind the crimes can put the immediate scenario in an appropriate juxtaposition. Society and crime, Khan sahib, go hand in glove. A society can neither be ideal nor can it be made so. Evil forces in human beings have a built-in mechanism, so its outcome is natural and must not be a new or a horrible phenomenon for anyone. To counter such acts, laws are made. And laws are made to be obeyed, not to be violated. When there is a question of law, morality must not be a hurdle in its way as it carries sentiments and favours associated with it. And there is a strong probability of being carried away by emotions instead of going for legal provisions.

When crime is part and parcel of any society, it must be checked through effective legislation and its strict implementation by state agencies. Since, legislation and its implementation is carried out by the state, all citizens living in its territorial jurisdiction have a liability towards such laws. Flouting or breaking such laws must have equal consequences for all.

Here, Mr Khan, I have a question for you. If a certain group commits excesses in settled areas like Lahore, or any other provincial capital, will you hold negotiations with them or would you prefer to hand them over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution? Obviously, and I hope for sanity’s sake, the second option would appeal to you more than the first one.

Then why would you demand negotiations with the Taliban? Are they not killers and terrorists? Are they not distorting the image of Islam by telling people what our religion has never said or propagated?

Khan sahib, they must be charged separately for each distinct offence and if the state wants to do so, let it be done. Let this state, badly suffering from the cancer of terrorism, be purged of all such people doing irreparable and colossal damage to the country and the nation. If the state has authority and is supreme, let no one take up arms and rebel against it. Let it be an integrated and sovereign state, having the full force of law and supremacy of the constitution. Whatever the line of action any state determines, it must be binding on its citizens. And Mr Khan, we must not support whosoever challenges the writ of the state.

When a state exercises lawful authority, we must not assume it is committing transgression or aggression. Surrendering to state can help usher in the era of rule of law and justice. If individual choices are allowed to override the writ of the state and the constitution, the anti-state elements will bring us down, the state included, and could become a threat for the country’s integrity and solidarity.

But on the issue of drones, Mr Khan, I agree with you totally since it is not an act of the state. It is naked aggression, and I castigate it.

The writer is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. Zain Kalam said:

    If he asks Such a question with such confidence he Should Have Written a way how to deal with it ? by bombarding And ending up having more militants ? This war needs to end right now.

  2. Meerza said:

    GEO is owned & operated by Jang group of Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman. His newspaper empire is managed by his two sons, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Mir Javed-ur-Rahman. Mir saheb personally trained them in the science of newspaper management. As a result, besides expanding the Jang newspaper group, they have added to it a powerful GEO television channel which has shaped into Pakistan's most popular television channel and its programmes can also be watched in the US and the UK and many parts of the Islamic world.
    Unfortunately both the Mirs have sold out their services to US & Jewish media, What a shameful Ghaddars have they become, che che che.

  3. Pakistani said:

    The writer appears to be another beneficiary of US Media Development Fund.

  4. arshad jan said:

    Another attention seeker, it is very easy to be a critic of IK and get noticed

  5. Zahid Khan said:

    Dear columnist sahib… Please chose a place other than a cosy bedroom to write about thistopic to Imran khan … Burger kha k aisi he batain moun se nikalti hai

  6. Ali Mahmud said:

    Another genius critic… whats the solution you idiot? … what the hell is wrong with our people? Don't we have a single person in the media who is capable of proposing his own solution rather than ciriticizing others?
    Come up with your own solution and then criticize Imran Khan… Show that you are more capable by giving a better solution… even a chabri waala in the streets can criticize better than you people… the only difference is that you can speak and propagate your views in English…

  7. SACH HAQ said:

    imrankhan niazi-ashmed of his own humble lower liddleclass father –calls himself false pathan ..imrankhan has listed a different name as his father in uk school certificate . imrankhan niazi -politician – must be open to debate and critiques ..SOLUTION — REMOVE USA CIA 30000 AGENTS VISA HOLDERS FROM PAKISTAN !!!ADD FULL CONTROLS ON JUDICIAL TERRORISTS CJ CHAUDHARY GANGSTERS AND STOP ISI RUNNING MAFIA GOVT .. MEHRANBANKS SCAMS ..

  8. Zain Kalam via Faceb said:

    If he asks Such a question with such confidence he Should Have Written a way how to deal with it ? by bombarding And ending up having more militants ? This war needs to end right now.

  9. Dr.M.M.Khan said:

    Congratulations on writing such a scholarly article. Don't expect a response from Imran any time soon. On one hand he beleives in the supremacy of judiciary when it is is politically convenient and as you say he wants dialogue with the murderers . inconsistency
    and causing confusion is his hallmark. Trying to be a man for all seasons wont do.
    Finally whenever one takes him to task one is branded as a tool of the west or worse. I assure you in advance i wil suffer the same fate but at least as his supporter i have consistently warned him through this paper. I am neither Brutus nor Mark Anthony!

  10. Genesis said:

    If talking to the terrorists and the Taliban ilk is not possible to rein them in how can one expect nations to talk to Pakistan to conrtrol these freaks.

  11. mukhtar said:

    Let us not down play Taliban and take shelter under their activities.You are worried about Taliban's brutality, strange what is happening in the rest of the country.Name any place in Pakistan where government has its writ. Sir there is no writ even in small towns.Let us first put our own house in order before asking questions to Mr. Khan. Every war ultimately ends up in dialogue irrespective of destruction

    Take the case of US they had to leave Iraq with heavy losses. Take the case of Afghanistan 10 years war forced the only super power to talk to Taliban for safe exit. Why should we target Mr. Khan, he is talking sense.Other course is operation.What have you gained so far, even the areas captured by the army are under threat.Your army is bogged down for all times to come , instead of returning to barracks, they will stay there for life in the shape of cantonments.


    • Dr.M.M.Khan said:

      Please read my reply. Thank you. Both of us mean well but approach differs. Writers or academics can never come up with solutions , they can only analyse options. The solutions are political but you and i are going to pay the price. Sometimes no peace is better than bought peace. We owe it our dead soldiers and innocent civilians killed in the line of fire.

  12. Dr.M.M.Khan said:

    So what you are suggesting is that we recognise The Taliban as a power to be negotiated with–inwhat sense Political or militatary or both. Their aims are well known Thanks to what they did in Swat. No democracy! Yes to caliphate. Theocratic Govt? Well if Mr Imran is talking sense why does he not enlarge on it. If he is going tb the messenger what is his message before we bless him. One negotiates with one,s enemies and not one's countrymen. One persuades them. If the message is hidden it as typical of him will cause confusion. No body is stopping him talking to them.No official sanction is required .You did go to Wazirstan. Are they wiling to listen?

  13. burke said:

    "And laws are made to be obeyed, not to be violated."
    " When a state exercises lawful authority", BUT THEY DON'T!

  14. Ali said:

    I agree with some points Shoaib Saleem.

    What i fail to understand though, has these questions be asked to any other leader in Pakistan? Don't we have Mr Zardari as president who simply does not care how to deal with these people. In fact didn't the current government released some Taliban commanders as part of negotiations? Isn't US talking about negotiating with same brainless animals? Didn't Shahbaz Sharif ask Talibans to not attack Punjab as they share ideology?

    My point is that hardly anyone has solution to this problem including all Imran Khan's critics unless you believe in bombing them till you finish them. Imran will absolutely NOT make any political gains by talking about negotiations but he still prefers this because there is in fact no other solution. Imran did NOT create these people but he is presenting a solution that may/may not work but negotiations do not make one a Taliban supporter.

  15. Chaudhry Boota said:

    solution is to purge madrassa's from training student for jihad, purging our textbooks, and the government agencies stop using these jihadis as proxies in neighbouring countries…and operation to clean these areas of foreign terroritist.

  16. Eddied said:

    Has anybody ever been able to talk to the Taliban? There are no significant negotiations going on that I have ever heard about…there was discussion about Taliban setting up an office in Qatar but it never amounted to anything…good luck to Imran Khan, if he can actually bring the Taliban to the negotiating table then he will be the first to do it…

  17. Arshad said:

    It is really a nice piece of work. the questions raised in this article must be replied by Mr Khan. but i m sure he will never do. he is in state of self-pride. Mr Khan's point of view is just to happy the barbaric Taliban. If a writer voiced to get the attention of Mr Khan, enlightened people should support these questions. at least, Khan sabib should respond these questions publicly.

  18. Pro Truth said:

    Simple answer, try watching how NATO and Afghans are negotiating with Talibans right now! This is how its done.

  19. hamid said:

    Shoab sahib not talking to them has already been tried now for 11 years by the USA and just about that many by us. So lets hear your answer which is different to IK's. tell us what we should do that is different that may end this violence. If you dont have one, the least you can do is help someone who is trying. If you have a solution put up or shut up

  20. hamid said:

    And while you are on the subject, please define " terriosts", same as USA and Isreal or some other

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