Diplomacy

Pakistan's new special envoy for Afghanistan welcomed on both sides of the border

By Zia Ur Rehman

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Pakistani Army Chief of Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa (left), Pakistani Special Representative for Afghanistan Affairs Muhammad Sadiq (second left) and Director General of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed (right) confer with Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on June 9 in Kabul. [Abdullah Abdullah/Twitter]

ISLAMABAD -- Observers in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are hailing the Pakistani government's appointment of its first special representative for Afghanistan affairs.

This move is aimed at boosting Pak-Afghan relations and helping facilitate the Afghan peace process, officials said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on June 6 appointed veteran diplomat Mohammad Sadiq as Pakistan's special representative for Afghanistan affairs.

Sadiq is an experienced diplomat who served as Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan from 2008-2014 before he retired in October 2016.

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Muhammad Sadiq is shown in an undated photo. [Muhammad Sadiq/Facebook]

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Newly appointed Pakistani Special Representative for Afghanistan Affairs Muhammad Sadiq (left) meets on June 8 in Islamabad with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. [Radio Pakistan]

He also served on the Pakistani National Security Committee and was a spokesperson for the country's Foreign Ministry.

He has held key diplomatic posts in Beijing and Brussels and was deputy chief of mission in Washington, DC, from 1998-2000.

The special representative for Afghanistan affairs is a new position created to spearhead the country's efforts for the Afghan peace process, according to Pakistani Foreign Ministry officials.

Appointment hailed from both sides

Political analysts and diplomats monitoring Pakistani-Afghan relations from both countries welcomed Sadiq's appointment.

Sadiq's "knowledge & understanding of the region and Afghanistan will hopefully enable him to play a constructive role in the region and bilateral relations at this important time", Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Atif Mashal tweeted June 6.

The two men had "a productive meeting" on June 8, according to Mashal.

"The formation of his office will help in the implementation of a follow up mechanism for bilateral relations which is a positive step forward," he tweeted. "We discussed peace and reconciliation as well as trade & transit between Afghanistan and Pakistan."

"We also discussed Ghulam Khan crossing point and Mr. Sadiq gave assurance of full support and cooperation."

"Not only does [Sadiq] have deeper knowledge, understanding & right temperament for the job but also has been strong advocate for more constructive Pak Afghan policy, promoter of peace & close bilatral [sic] relations," Omar Zakhilwal, a former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, tweeted on June 6.

APAPPS -- a forum with the common objectives of eradicating terrorism, achieving peace and stability, and developing the region -- has not held a meeting since 2019 because of tensions between the two countries.

"Hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and serving as an ambassador in Afghanistan, Sadiq understands the complexities of the Afghan conflict in both its historical and socio-economic contexts," said Bilal Alkozai, a Kabul-based researcher monitoring the peace talks in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's role in resolving the Afghan conflict in the past has been based on a military outcome, and Sadiq's appointment now will allow Pakistan to focus on a political solution to ensure peace in the region, he said.

The appointment of Sadiq comes amid renewed efforts to start intra-Afghan talks.

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PAK alweys kiled inocent peopal and molish subdivision in AFG. if they becom Angils even belive them, they are traitors.

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Iran’s influence is not acceptable, because this country equips terrorists to weaken or destabilize the Afghan government.

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I consider appointment of Mohammad Sadiq, special representative of Pakistan for Afghanistan as a good and proper appointment. He can work for peace and welfare in Afghanistan and play a constructive role in bettering relations between the two countries because Mr. Sadiq has worked on various positions and knows well about the situation of Afghanistan. I think Pakistan also has realized that if that country would not help Afghanistan in bringing security, she will face economic sanctions from the countries of the region and especially from America. I think if the United States of America increases pressures on Pakistan, this country will help Afghanistan in war on terror and will no more interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. May Allah the great bring a permanent peace in our beloved country Afghanistan so that Afghans also can live a human life the way people of other countries do.

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iran influnce is not well come bse is arming terriosts to disorganise afganisran government

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Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan's special envoy for Afghanistan, is an intelligent and clever person. He can improve the relations between the two countries and work for a lasting peace in Afghanistan. One of the reasons for Afghanistan's insecurity is that Afghanistan has not had good relations with Pakistan for the past 20 years, and we have to have good relations with Pakistan, because Pakistan is a very close neighbor of Afghanistan and Afghanistan has a very wide border with Pakistan. If we do not have good relations with Pakistan, we will never have lasting peace in Afghanistan. For this reason, I consider the appointment of Mohammad Sadiq, as Pakistan's special envoy for Afghanistan, a very precise and appropriate one, because he has a very deep understanding of the political situation in Afghanistan.

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Even if Pakistan would hire an angel, she should not be trusted on. With the help of the international community, Afghanistan should return the Afghans living there, and close the border with Pakistan and stop friendship with them because Pakistan is administered by a complete hypocrite system which neither believes in God nor in the messenger [of God], nor stand on its says and promises. They made the former Jihadi groups and made them fight for 15 years against the former governments of Afghanistan, but last year they said that they have trained those groups to conduct a fake Jihad. Now, they have been training Taliban and other terrorist groups for the last twenty years, making them kill Afghans and destroy Afghanistan.

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