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The Meaning of Operation Olive Branch

The Meaning of Operation Olive Branch

The gloomy portrait of the Middle East today should not obscure that peace is achievable. The basic premise for any such peace must be to preserve the territorial integrity of states. This means countering all forces that exist only to pursue their dystopias at the expense of others and with the help of outsiders, including Daesh and PKK/YPG terrorists. Their vision of endless bloodshed must be countered and defeated.The Middle East must be kept safe from the threat of sectarianism, spheres of influence, resurgent imperialisms, royal family feuds, and extremism of all sorts, religious and otherwise. The states and peoples of the region — and those affected by it — have suffered enough. A road map toward such a successful future may already be emerging, with Turkey’s resolute leadership. I hope the United States chooses to seize the moment and support that vision of peace.

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Well done People of Turkey!

Coup in Turkey

Pakistan Focus condemns the attempt of military take over in Turkey and congratulates the brave people of Turkey for quelling the coup. While wishing President Erdogan all the best, we suggest that he carries out appropriate military reforms for strengthening the supremacy of civilian rule and to eradicate chances of recurrence of such episodes.

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Yemen Crisis: Time to cease the moment!

Iran-Turkey summit has reinforced the likelihood of a cease fire in Yemen. Iranian foreign minister shall soon convey this to Pakistan; at the same time he will urge Pakistan to not to join the Saudi led coalition. By this evening all information gaps would be filled. While an overwhelming consensus is emerging for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement, no frame work for such talks is on the horizon. Space for diplomacy is clearly increasing; by now, all parties to the conflict have nodded affirmative for negotiations; hence raison d’etre for sending the military contingent to Saudi Arabia is fast diluting. Handling of this crisis by the government of Pakistan was slow, it could not match the speed of events. Political parties also kept shifting their stance. There was a huge gap between the Pakistani and Saudi positions regarding the ongoing role of Pakistan in Yemen crisis—positions varied between meek denial by Pakistan and total embrace by Saudi Arabia. People of Pakistan were left in a state of confusion. By taking a strong partisan position, Pakistan, like Turkey, lowered its acceptability for playing a lead mediatory role. While Pakistan government is overwhelmingly on Saudi side, leadership should not lose the sight of the stark reality that key to the resolutions of Yemen crisis is with Iran. Inclination toward dialogue by all sides presents a unique opportunity; Pakistan should make a course correction and take a lead in converting this widow of hope into a workable action plan for lasting peace in Yemen.

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Taliban warm-up for talks

Afghan Taliban leadership has approved initiation of preliminary peace talks with Afghan government. Taliban representatives conducting talks with Pakistan and China have received a green signal from their top leadership. Pakistan has advised Taliban leaders to sit face-to-face with the Afghan government and put their demands to find out a political solution.Turkey has expressed its satisfaction with the new phase of relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan. China’s entry into Afghan peace process was long overdue; this will help the sustainability of the peace process, because China is perceived as an honest peace broker by all. As the peace move is likely to pick up in the coming weeks, Afghan president has stepped up consultations with stakeholders in his country to evolve consensus.

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