Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday has warned the National Assembly about the recurrence of militant presence in Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and expressed apprehensions over the success of the talks with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The minister made these remarks during a National Assembly session where he was responding to a comment by independent Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) MNA Mohsin Dawar, who had raised the issue. In response to Dawar, Khawaja Asif conceded that the worsening security situation of the province was now a ‘national issue’ as opposed to merely a provincial one.
He criticized Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan for being friendly towards the Taliban and welcoming them to K-P in the past, and noted that the PTI government in KP was now protesting against the the very same.
He also expressed apprehensions about the talks with the TTP. “This assembly was given two briefings [on the issue of talks with the TTP]. May Allah keep the affairs on track as per the briefings,” he said, explaining that the danger was ‘gradually increasing’. The minister also expressed hope that the Taliban would remain true to their ‘intentions’ and would refrain from ‘imposing their own rules and system’.