Tuesday September 28, 2021

Mohammad Sadiq appointed as special envoy to Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday appointed Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq as Pakistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan, a completely new office, to what the government describes will be an effective role in strengthening ties between the two neighbouring countries.

While there was no announcement from the Foreign Office, nor from the minister’s WhatsApp group run by his office, Sadiq met with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at the ministry who facilitated him on his new assignment and hoped that the appointment of an experienced diplomat on the crucial position would help further strengthen the Pak-Afghan ties. In his meeting with Sadiq, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said regional development was linked to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan. The foreign minister pointed out that that considering it a collective responsibility, Pakistan had sincerely played a reconciliatory role in Afghan peace process which had been lauded globally.

A highly respected diplomat, Sadiq’s appointment was welcomed by no less than Dr Omar Zakhilwal, former finance minister and former president’s special representative and ambassador to Pakistan.

“I welcome appointment of Ambassador Sadiq as Pak’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan. Not only does he have deeper knowledge, understanding and right temperament for the job but also has been strong advocate for more constructive Pak-Afghan policy, promoter of peace and close bilateral relations,” he said in a tweet.

Sadiq brings to the table his cordial relations with the different players inside Afghanistan and tremendous respect he has always received from them. The foreign minister also reiterated that Pakistan would continue playing its part for regional peace and stability.

A seasoned diplomat, Sadiq has previously served as secretary to the National Security Division, Cabinet Committee on National Security (Pakistan) and has held several other posts in the Foreign Office.

The special envoy holds an MA in Political Science from Peshawar University, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University and an MS in Defence and Security Studies from the National Defence University in Islamabad.

Sadiq’s appointment comes at a time when earlier, with fast paced changes in Afghanistan, the US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad commented in a tweet that “Although difficult challenges remain on both fronts (Taliban government), I believe both will be overcome, so long as leaders on all sides make the right decisions and put the interest of their people first. This development offers the opportunity to accelerate the peace process.”