Terrorists see writing on the wall

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IN a significant development, former spokesperson of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and a senior leader of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Ehsanullah Ehsan, had turned himself in to Pakistan’s security agencies. Announcing this at a news briefing on Monday, DG ISPR Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said there can be no bigger achievement for Pakistan than the fact that perpetrators of terrorism are now realising error of their ways and are turning themselves in.
The ISPR also presented progress report of operation Raddul Fasaad before media but we believe surrender of TTP spokesman has more importance because of its ramifications. Though details have not been made public about background of his surrender but whatever the reason, this change of heart on part of a person who used to defend Taliban on ideological and media front would go a long way in sending right kind of message to others. Ehsanullah has been working closely with TTP, therefore, he surely has intimate knowledge and understanding of TTP activities and its real intentions and plans. His decision to surrender before the law might also pave the way for others to follow the suit and bow before authority of the State. It is not known whether he was persuaded to distance himself from TTP or he made the decision on his own but we have been emphasising in these columns that mere or overwhelming reliance on use of force was not the answer. Taliban and other terrorist outfits are definitely on the wrong side but still there are some elements that are attracted to them. This shows that government, relevant state institutions and above all members of civil society are not playing their role in countering the menace of terrorism and extremism on ideological front. Religious parties and scholars have a special role and responsibility in this regard as they not only have necessary persuasive power to sensitise those who have gone astray but also some sort of connections with some quarters to undertake this job in right in persuading extremists to disassociate themselves from those who take lives of innocent people without any reason.