President Arif Alvi’s suggestion that the government could offer amnesty members of the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is as wild as it is wolly. Made while giving an interview to a private channel, the idea seemed to be a reaction to the present success of the Afghan Taliban in coming back to power, but it does not seem to have been thought through. The TTP cadres are not going to surrender the way that insurgents have in the past, surrendering their arms at a durbar summoned for the purpose. What was appropriate for rebellious tribesmen would not really work for the TP. Who does the President to surrender? The bomb-makers? Or the facilitators? Or those intending to be suicide bombers?
Meanwhile, the National Command Authority meeting on Tuesday decried the deteriorating force balance in the region, while the apex committee, while reviewing the internal security situation noted the need to implement the National Action Plan (NAP). A fine job of doing that seems to be being done in allowing the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to field 84 candidates in the Cantonment Board elections being held today. There has obviously been a short-circuit somewhere in the system, for the TLP not just engaged in a movement against the government, which led to national paralysis, deaths and injuries, and an announcement of a ban on the TLP. If the TLP was banned, its ticket should have led to disqualifications, rather than pleas that the needed letter had not been written to the Election Commission, as had been done. It wants to ensure that the TTP, which has clearly indicated that it will go on fighting national institutions, and the TLP, which has a record of resisting civil law enforcing agencies, are dealt with leniently, even while there are pious wishes expressed about establishing moves against terror. The lesson is clear, though unfortunate: there is freedom to maim, even kill, and spread havoc, so long as one does not oppose the government, no matter how peaceful he means used.