Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry Friday said that the talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are meant to ‘wean off reconcilable elements’ at a time when the group is at a weak point. Speaking virtually at a dialogue of political parties on the government’s talks with TTP, Fawad insisted that not everyone in TTP was ideologically committed to the group and many of them were ready to reconcile with the state. He emphasised that the ‘hardcore base’ of the group was very narrow, comprising hardly 1,500 – 2,000 militants, and opined that getting the reconcilable elements to part ways with it would further weaken it. “The state wanted to give an opening to the people who do not want to raise arms against us. We can’t prolong fights generation after generation,” he maintained, and said that those who would not renounce violence would be dealt with sternly. He argued that the government was negotiating from a position of strength unlike the mistake committed by the United States in Afghanistan that did not talk to the Afghan Taliban when it was at the acme of its power. He maintained some of the TTP factions were linked to the Afghan Taliban, who think that those who resorted to violence for reasons other than ideological should be engaged. Separately, Fawad Chaudhry said that draft of a law regarding fake news has been handed over to the federal cabinet. The minister said in a tweet that since 2018 he has been saying that the country could not move forward without fundamental political reforms. He said that media and judicial reforms were essential. Fawad Chaudhry also announced that the PTI-led government will soon bring ‘great relief’ to the masses on essential food items. He said that the masses will be provided relief on several basic food items, including wheat, sugar, pulses, and ghee. “Aside from food items, the government will also provide relief to the masses on health and education,” he said, adding that all citizens of Punjab will be eligible to get a health card by March 2022. “The issuance of cards will start in December this year and citizens will be able to choose a doctor or hospital to get treatment,” the minister said. “Using the health card, citizens will be able to avail the services of both public and private hospitals free of charge,” he said.