Vol. 2 No. 1 (2014): CISS Insight Quarterly News & Views, March 2014

What Negotiations with Taliban Mean?

Syed Muhammad Ali
Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight Journal 2014
Published March 20, 2014
How to Cite
Syed Muhammad Ali. (2014). What Negotiations with Taliban Mean?. CISS Insight Journal, 2(1), P52-58. Retrieved from http://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/190


Pakistan government's ongoing negotiations with Tehrik-e-Taliban, Pakistan (TTP) mark a decisive moment in our history. Our future, irrespective of their outcome, could be remarkably different from either our past or present. One sincerely hopes that the ongoing talks between the state of Pakistan and the nonstate actors will succeed but the very notion of success is very different for both the state and the non-state actors. Both sides are saying they desire peace, but that’s not a solution or an end state but actually represents the main challenge. What peace means for one and on whose terms is the core dispute. War, most people neglect, is not an end but a means to an end for an actor or a state, which perceives violence as affordable, necessary or profitable. A sovereign state's overt negotiations with a non-state actor challenge its identity, form and composition. It also means that coercion could be used to force a state into renegotiating what it ought to be, how it should be governed and by whom. Most importantly, TTP’s success in extracting even a minor concession from the government could embolden other non-state actors, such as those active with divisive agenda in Balochistan, to make similar demands.