Justice Isa questions negotiations with terrorists in Swat

Supreme Court judge Justice Qazi Faiz Isa on Saturday questioned negotiations with terrorists "who attack girls' schools in Swat".

"Who gave the permission to negotiate with terrorists? On whose request are we negotiating with these terrorists? Who offered to negotiate with them," Justice Isa said while addressing the International Judicial Conference in Islamabad.

He said that the girls' school that was attacked by terrorists in Swat remained closed for five years, adding that several educational institutions were blown up during that time.

Read more: Panic grips Swat after spurt in TTP activities

Justice Isa said that failure to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the root cause of our problems. "Our faith teaches us respect for women as it is also commanded in the Quran but we are negotiating with the terrorists," he added.

He said that the federal and provincial governments should stop giving cars to judges, bureaucrats and military officers. "The poor people are contributing their share to the government treasury, but they walk on foot or ride a bicycle… the saved amount should be used to construct bike paths, footpaths and public transport.”

He further said that a large part of the country is inundated in flood water, adding that the government needed to take practical steps to deal with the global climate change instead of looking at the world for help.

The statement comes amid reports that the outlawed terrorist group was making a comeback in the picturesque valley.

The Senate Standing Committee on Defence stressed on Friday the need for upholding the rule of law in the country, as it discussed the prevailing security situation in the Swat district in the wake of reports of resurgence of TTP.

Also read: Swat situation under control, Senate panel told

Special Assistant to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif has said that TTP has only claimed three attacks in the province recently and some dissent militant groups or criminals are involved in extortion cases who want to torpedo the negotiations process.

Talking to The Express Tribune exclusively on Thursday, he said that TTP posed no threat and there was only a social media hype which has been further strengthened by a nationalist party, an apparent reference to Awami National Party.

It may be mentioned here that Saif visited Afghanistan in connection with peace negotiations with TTP several times. He accompanied the delegation of Pakistani clerics which visited Kabul under the leadership of Mufti Taqi Usmani.

Barrister Saif said that the negotiation process was still going on despite what he called ‘a few’ incidents and the ceasefire was also still in place.

“The talks between government and TTP are moving forward. If any agreement is reached then it will be presented before parliament for approval. A general amnesty for militants could not be ruled out,” he observed.

He, however, added that an agreement didn’t mean anyone could be allowed to establish a state within state at gunpoint.

He said that TTP didn’t pose any threat and there should be no panic among the general public in this regard.

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