Pak political parties divided over backing US-led war in wake of economic crisis

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London, Oct 17 : In the wake of prevailing deep financial crunch and slowdown in the overall Pakistani economy, a deep rift has opened up within political parties, including some of the allies, over the Government's present anti-terror policy.

Some are of the view that the Government should immediately withdraw from the US-led war on terror and hold talks with the Tehree-e-Taliban (TTP) to give up arms in a bid to resolve the internal conflict. They also suggest that the Government should back the country's security forces to take on the local Taliban.

The Jamiat-Ulama-I-Islam party, one of the allies in the Government, has even demanded that after receiving an in-camera presentation from the Army, Pakistan's Taliban movement should also be allowed to address them.

According to The Guardian, the rift comes as the political and economic situation worsens, with intensified suicide bomb attacks and an alarming depletion in Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves. The country is seeking an emergency 10-billion-dollar package from the international community, even as a severe shortage of electricity is crippling business and punishing households.

Besides, the critics of the government allege that there is a paralysis of decision-making and policy. A leaked US top secret National Intelligence Estimate on Pakistan concludes that the country is "on the edge", while a US official assessed Pakistani economy as "no money, no energy, no government".

Experts in Pakistan fear that the economic nosedive would aid recruitment to extremist groups and force more poor families to send their children to the free madrassa schools, which offer an exclusively religious curriculum. There other apprehensions are inflation running at 25 percent and the growing unemployment pushing millions more into poverty.

Former interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayat said: "The canvas of terrorism is expanding by the minute. It's not only ideological motivation. Put that together with economic deprivation and you have a ready-made force of Taliban, al-Qaida, whatever you want to call them. You will see suicide bombers churned out by the hundred."

ANI

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