British Foreign Secretary William Hague is due to arrive in Islamabad today (Wednesday) as part of the west’s efforts to break a deadlock in Afghan peace talks.
A foreign ministry official told The Express Tribune that the focus of British foreign secretary’s visit would be on the current Afghan situation. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Britain, which is part of the US-led Nato/Isaf mission in Afghanistan, was concerned about the deadlock over the Qatar talks.
The process, which allowed Afghan Taliban to set up their office in Doha, hangs in the balance after the Afghan administration raised concerns.
In reaction to Karzai’s objections, the Afghan Taliban representatives recently announced to stay away from the Doha office. The official said that during formal talks between Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the two sides would discuss measures to help revive the process.
Pakistan is considered a key for any future peace deals as it has also played a crucial role in persuading the Afghan Taliban to come to the negotiating table in Qatar. Hague is also due to call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit.
MQM chief controversy
Sources confirmed to The Express Tribune that the top British diplomat will also meet Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and brief him about investigations into the murder of Imran Farooq and its likely implications for MQM supremo Altaf Hussain.
In a recent documentary aired by BBC, the MQM chief was accused of money laundering and inciting violence through his ‘provocative speeches’ from London. The MQM rejected the charges outright.
British legal experts are of the view that Altaf Hussain could face jail sentence if charges of money laundering and inciting violence are proved.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.