LAHORE - Special units of the security services will take out the militants in the tribal belt through targeted operations if outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) restarts any aggressive armed campaign against the state, The Nation has learnt.
Well-placed sources told this correspondent on Sunday that that government was pursuing back-channel efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with the TTP, however in case of failure special units of the security services would neutralise all the militant elements.
A senior government peace committee member told The Nation that next few days would decide the fate of TTP talks. He was of the opinion that main reason behind Taliban refusal to extend the ceasefire was to cover their internal differences, which surfaced after the fighting in South Waziristan for territorial control between two groups – one of whom supports talks with government while other is opposed to it.
When asked if the government with the support of security services was using some other channels for pursuing the peace process with Taliban, he said, “I don’t know. But the government can pursue other means, while I am always available to the government for playing my role.”
Outlawed TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said on Friday (April 18) that TTP would attack the government facilities and not public places. However, he added that some other elements could target public places too. He also rejected the reports of fissures in the TTP.
A senior member of the security establishment told this scribe that TTP was now heading in two different directions, as one group desires to pursue peace while the other was rigidly sticking to some unacceptable demands and could carry out acts of terror. He endorsed the opinion of the govt peace committee about TTP shura’s decision for not extending the ceasefire.
Senior member of security establishment said that pro-peace elements could extend their help to the special units in case of aggressive armed campaign by the TTP against the security forces. When asked about the expected level of damage if the battle restarts in the tribal belt, he said that security forces would definitely face some losses but the anti-peace elements would be wiped out completely this time.
He said that some groups of SWA and North Waziristan Agency (NWA) along with the foreign militants were opposing the peace process and they would be rooted out if they continued to oppose the peace. He claimed that TTP has lost financial support after the successful sting operations of the security services and the Taliban have been ‘isolated’ internally and externally. He however declined to comment on those sources of financial support to the militant outfit.