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Editorial: Meeting MBS in Islamabad

Saudi Arab Prince Muhammad Bin Sultan arrived on a two days visit of Pakistan at Islamabad on Sunday. Beside holding talks with Pakistan’s officials Prince Muhammad Bin Salam is also going to meet a delegation of Qatar based Taliban leaders. Earlier in previous January Taliban leaders have refused to fly to Riyadh Saudi Arab for attending a meeting decided in Abu Dhabi. Similarly during that time, Taliban leaders have also refused to reach in Islamabad for holding talks with the US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad. Now landing of Taliban leaders in Islamabad for meeting Saudi Prince is not only surprising but a matter of concern for the Afghan government. Couple of days back, hopes generated regarding success of US sponsored peace talks when Taliban Tehrik co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar lead the Taliban delegation in peace talks held at Doha Qatar. Though Taliban leaders and Pakistani officials have denied the reports but there are reports regarding re-arrest of Mullah Baradar by Pakistan. Mullah Baradar was made free by Pakistan on the request of US Special Envoy Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad in previous October. He was arrested from Karachi somewhere in 2012 last when he was visiting Pakistan for meeting fellow Taliban leaders in connection with peace and reconciliation proposals of ex-President Hamid Karzai. Upon release he made a re-union with fellow Taliban and he was pleased to lead the January round of talks with US team at Doha, Qatar. Throughout peace process, Khalilzad found this round very positive and fruitful. It also boosted war-stricken Afghan’s faith in peace. So far there is no reaction from President Ghani administration on reports pertained to arrest of Mullah Baradar but it could be a matter of great concern for each and every countryman who have been made fed up by prolonged wars and hostilities on their soil. Similarly, if the arrest of Mullah Baradar is true, then it could be harmful to the very interests of US led allies including Saudi Arab. It could be considered a move to derail the peace efforts of US special envoy Khalilzad. Now it is again proved that Pakistan intends to go for its choice solution to long standing Afghan conflict. Whatever might be intentions of Pakistan, but one thing is very very clear that it’s unrealistic policies made disheartened the Afghans. Continuation of Islamabad’s meaningless interference in affairs of Afghanistan could further harm miseries of Afghans. And in return, these wars affected Afghans would have no other option except pleading UN to help. Instead of following the outdated, exhausted and flopped policies, Pakistan needs to read on the walls. Now one thing is very clear that Afghans are holding no other than Pakistan responsible for all of their odds.

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