Pak govt. must kill, not negotiate with 'good and bad' Taliban: Editorial

Islamabad, Jan. 14 (ANI): The Pakistan government must recognise that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is in violation of the law of the land and needs to be taken to task, according to an editorial in a Pakistani daily.

There can be no negotiation with terrorists on issues that concern Pakistan's sovereignty and the safety of its citizens, said the editorial in The Express Tribune.

Since the TTP reared its ugly head in Pakistan in 2007, it has done nothing but wreak havoc, although its sympathisers will have everyone believe one can still make a distinction between 'good Taliban' and the 'bad Taliban', it said.

It now appears that despite vehement denials on the part of the TTP, there may be divisions within the ranks though one should treat this news with caution as it is not a group one can trust, it added.

Its leaders have risen from the dead, like Hakeemullah Mehsud who was presumed dead in 2010 in a drone strike (and once before that) but is at present leader of the TTP. He is said to be losing control to his deputy, Waliur Rehman, who is believed to be more amenable to a peace deal with Pakistan, similar to those struck by Taliban factions in North and South Waziristan, respectively, the editorial stated.

This report first surfaced in December last year but was denied a few weeks later by both men who appeared together in a 45-minute video in which they rubbished talks of a rift between them and said that they were open to talks with the Pakistan government - provided "it was free of foreign pressure"- and added that the laying down arms was out of the question. However, a recent news report says that the two leaders "are at each other's throats", it further said.

One terrorist outfit's loss could be Pakistan's gain. Rifts within the TTP leadership have occurred before but the government has not used them to its advantage, preferring to negotiate with the TTP, thinking that they will be able to reason with a group of men incapable of reason. In the process, thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives, the editorial said. (ANI)