Pakistan names special envoy for Afghanistan

Published June 7, 2020
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan's special envoy for Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan's special envoy for Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

KARACHI: In what appears to be an attempt to strengthen its role in the ongoing Afghanistan peace process, the government has appointed veteran diplomat Mohammad Sadiq as Pakistan’s first special envoy for Afghanistan.

As no official notification with regard to his appointment has been released, or posted on any government website, the responsibilities and the role of Ambassador Sadiq in the peace process is not yet clearly known.

The news of his appointment became public when he called on Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Saturday. According to the APP, the foreign minister felicitated Ambassador Sadiq on his new assignment and hoped that the appointment of an experienced diplomat on the crucial position would help further strengthen Pak-Afghan ties.

The development comes ahead of a visit of United States Special Represen­tative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who, according to the State Department, embarked on a new round of diplomatic trips to Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan on Friday.

Ambassador Khalilzad, who is often dubbed as the architect of the February 29 agreement with Afghan Taliban clearing the way for a US troop withdrawal, will meet Taliban leaders in Doha and Afghan and Pakistani officials in Kabul and Islamabad.

A State Department statement said the primary objective of his trip is to facilitate an agreement between the Afghan parties on the practical steps necessary for a smooth start to intra-Afghan negotiations.

Mr Sadiq, a career diplomat who retired in 2016 from the position of secretary of the national security division, was Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul during between December 2008 and April 2014.

He also served as Foreign Office spokesperson for about one and a half years. He was also posted in Washington DC (1998-2000), Beijing (1994-1998) and Brussels.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Qureshi while talking to Mr Sadiq said Pakistan considered peace in Afghanistan a collective responsibility and it had sincerely played a reconciliatory role in the peace process, which was also lauded globally. He said that the region’s development was linked to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue playing its part for regional peace and stability.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Not without reform
Updated 22 Apr, 2024

Not without reform

The problem with us is that our ruling elite is still trying to find a way around the tough reforms that will hit their privileges.
Raisi’s visit
22 Apr, 2024

Raisi’s visit

IRANIAN President Ebrahim Raisi, who begins his three-day trip to Pakistan today, will be visiting the country ...
Janus-faced
22 Apr, 2024

Janus-faced

THE US has done it again. While officially insisting it is committed to a peaceful resolution to the...
Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...