Bilawal accuses Imran Khan of following ‘wrong approach’ toward TTP

India Bilawal SCO
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari speaks during an interview with Al-Jazeera. — Screengrab via PPP YouTube

Davos: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has accused the previous government of Imran Khan of following a “wrong approach” towards the proscribed Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In an interview with Al Jazeera on TuesdayBilawal Bhutto Zardari censured the previous government, saying that their “policy of appeasement” towards the Taliban has created problems for the people of Pakistan. He said that the former approach, however, has been ended by his government.

Referring to the two back-to-back meetings of Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC) earlier this month, Bilawal said that the top political and military leadership of our country decided that we would not tolerate terrorist groups and anybody who violates the law in Pakistan.

In December last year, Pakistan witnessed a spike in attacks by the TTP after the armed group unilaterally ended an Afghan Taliban-brokered ceasefire agreement in November.

The TTP, comprising of local fighters mostly, shares some ideological affinity with the neighbouring Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers.

Islamabad has repeatedly said that Afghanistan’s soil is being used against Pakistan, however, Kabul denies the claims.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has also asked the government in Kabul — without naming it — not to provide safe havens to terrorist groups on its soil.

Despite the Afghan government’s ban on women from working in NGOs, the foreign minister reiterated the need to engage with the Taliban.

“The solution is to engage the Afghan government and try to convince them to live up to their promises to the international community whether it is to do with women’s rights or the issue of terrorism,” said Bilawal.

The PPP leader ruled out the possibility of disengaging, saying that it is not even an option for Pakistan as both countries share a long and porous border.