Landmark trip: Putin due in Islamabad in October

Published: August 29, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with the country’s civil and military leaderships and attend a quadrilateral summit. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Pakistan this October, the first-ever trip by any head of state from Russia, indicating an improvement in ties between the former cold-war rivals.

A Foreign Office official confirmed that the Russian president will be arriving in Islamabad during the second week of October as part of an effort by the two countries to move beyond their past.

The official also told The Express Tribune that Putin will meet with the country’s civil and military leaderships and attend a quadrilateral summit.

The formal invitation for the trip was extended by President Asif Ali Zardari following the Russian leader’s election in March.

The fourth of its kind, the summit will also be attended by leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the official added, and will focus on regional issues with particular emphasis on the Afghan endgame. The last meeting was held in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, in 2011, where the four nations urged the US-led Nato forces to step up the training of local security forces before they pull out of Afghanistan.

Russia has voiced concerns on the future of Afghanistan once the US-led coalition withdraws from the war-torn country and Islamabad shares Moscow’s worries about the future of its neighbour. Both countries have expressed serious apprehension that the situation in Afghanistan may slip into a civil war due to the lack of clear roadmap for future political dispensation.

Relations between Pakistan and Russia, who remained bitter rivals for decades, have improved in recent years as the two countries have attempted to open a new chapter in their otherwise frosty relationship.

(Read: The Russians are coming)

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (52)

  • Ammar B
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:47AM

    This is the best news I hope we get are mind set out from things like the Baghdad pact. Cento never helped us. Look what being an ally with US has done. I think cooperation with Russia will the in the best interest of Pakistan. We need to make stronger regional allies like Iran, Russia China and India.

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  • sabi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:51AM

    No land mark trip at all one is begger the other is choser.

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  • CK
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:51AM

    No matter what the West says about Putin, he is one of the few leaders who stands up against them. Pakistan should capitalize on this visit but we all know nothing will be achieved out of this visit.

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  • Faheem
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:51AM

    Good news. Lets leave behind the past and work together on harmonisation, trade, regional development and security.

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  • Max
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:53AM

    I hope Pakistan behaves this time and acts a rational state. It is the best chance for it to improve its diplomatic image.

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  • Nadir
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:13AM

    The butcher of Chechnya, his backing for the Serbs unleashed misery in Kosovo. Now he is going to be hailed in Pakistan by the same people who were calling for prayers for Muslims in Chechnya and Kosovo. Stinks of hypocrisy!

    Recommend

  • jordan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:25AM

    Russian presence in pakistan is better than US or chinese for India…now we will have better control of pakistan.Recommend

  • Arindom
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:52AM

    Russia has voiced concerns on the
    future of Afghanistan once the US-led
    coalition withdraws from the war-torn
    country and Islamabad shares Moscow’s
    worries about the future of its
    neighbour.

    Statement true – but both are concerned for diametrically opposite reasons – Russia is worried Taliban will take over. Pakistan is worried Taliban will NOT be able to take over.!Recommend

  • Concerned
    Aug 29, 2012 - 5:58AM

    Pakistan should seriously plan for this visit

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  • I.kashmir
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:04AM

    Well come step! russia is far better than u.s…U.S. only plays divide and rule policy on muslims to grab their resources as we see between m.east and iran, pak and u.s. 65 year relation,where pak get nothing but an order of do moreRecommend

  • nomi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:16AM

    The greatest blunder we did was to become a complete american camper. Russia might not trust us but it knows that Pakistan can be useful to some extent and this was very kindly explained to them by China.

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  • vasan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:22AM

    Will he say “Do more ” or “Dont look both ways”

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  • khan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:23AM

    funny how we change our colors. From masters in Washington, to masters in Beijing, and now our new found love for Russia. As if the russians dont know our history, our double faced nature and our failures in every field. Russia is simply trying to secure its borders and make sure as NATO withdraws, we dont train the afghans against russia.

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  • Rao
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:43AM

    Good step to re-visit Pakistani foreign policy.Recommend

  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Aug 29, 2012 - 6:52AM

    Marvellous politics played by Mr Zardari. Apart from his past corruption and other incomptencies one thing is sure, he is the most clever politician our country has ever got. US State department will be closely looking into this trip and will have no choice but to offer more carrots and less stick to our government. I hope Pakistan will ignore those carrots and instead forge a more honest friendship with India and Russia rather relying on US. Army must change its mindset now. A good Russian friendship can take us out of the Afghan problem in better shape than US can offer in 100 years.Recommend

  • Vikas
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:02AM

    This time Pakistan is going to get slacked by Russians for creating terrorism in Chechanya. Never seen before that a country inviting some one to get flacked.

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  • Tariq
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:09AM

    So it is okay to have a KGB guy visit Pakistan the same one who killed hundreds of thousands in Afghanistan, than anyone else. Beggers

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  • antony
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:27AM

    Just let one news reporter ask one question to Putin ” Does Russia support India on Kashmir or Pakistan ” ..All the infatuation of pakistan on Russia will fade in an instant!.Recommend

  • MAHAKKALCHAKRA
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:39AM

    Go whereever you want to or allowed to but do not forget “Masters, not Friends“.

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  • Raw is War
    Aug 29, 2012 - 7:44AM

    @ vikas

    i agree.

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  • Randeep Sherpao
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:01AM

    @Ammar B:
    “We need to make stronger regional allies like Iran, Russia China and India”

    can happen if you will leave terrorism and become a secular country

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  • Raj - USA
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:45AM

    Russia is a reliable partner and I wish Pakistan the best.

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  • observer2211ab@gmail.com
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:51AM

    So what? Nobody can saves us from ourselves, whether it’s Russia or China or SaudisRecommend

  • Harbans
    Aug 29, 2012 - 8:55AM

    Mr. Antony
    Leave Russia, can you name one major country which supports Pakistan on Kashmir ?

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  • kashif saif dhillon
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:14AM

    the cold relation b/w two past rivals will ameliorate by this trip,, RUssia comprehend the importance of pakistan in the region both these countries have to indemnify there past misatkes..,

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  • Deepwater
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:18AM

    35 years ago, this may have been big news.

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  • Sibtain Naqvi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:26AM

    Rivals? You need to stop building up Pakistan like that. It was and is a wannabe client state of the US and barring something drastic will continue to look at the US for handouts.

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  • Zaid Ali
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:34AM

    Great news. I really like this dominant guy. I really envy Zardari for standing beside Putin or Ahmedenijad and discussing policy matters with these.
    May this visit of Putin prove to be a blessing for Pakistanis.

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  • Amitabh Bachchan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:37AM

    As Afridi said, Indians have little hearts, i hope India learn from Pakistan mistakes and avoid US and strenghten ties with Russia and Pakistan.

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  • Gratgy
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Pakistan is becoming the international toilet paper roll, Everyone uses and throws away but the roll is ever awaiting to service the next behindRecommend

  • Polpot
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:02AM

    @I.kashmir: u.s. 65 year relation,where pak get nothing but an order of do more”"
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Pakistan received more than 20 Bn USD from US…….if you get a fraction of that from China or Russia than call me Insane.

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:04AM

    Putin wants for Russia the major Projects in Pakistan…but without Competitive Bidding
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    What does that tell you of his mindset?

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  • nitish
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:06AM

    @nomi: Do you still want to be useful ?

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  • nomi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:33AM

    @ Vikas

    Yes the same way China flayed India and India panicked when the Chinese premier arrived in India and Tibetan protesters were treated a little better than animals. China flays the Indian policy of covert support to Tibetan separatists.

    Sri Lanka never forgets the support of terrorist networks like the LTTE by the indian establishment.

    Pakistan’s policy is pathetic no doubt, but as they say, look whose talking.

    Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:37AM

    Great News. pakistan must engage with Russia and be part of this world .

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  • True Muslim Paki
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:39AM

    We should definitely rise Chechnya & oppression of Muslimss with Putin

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  • Lala Gee
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:58AM

    A welcome development. Pakistran must bring balance in its Foreign Policy and no reasons to continue non-friendly relations with Russia. Hope this will also provide Pakisan some leverage while dealing with USA.Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:15AM

    @sabi:
    @Nadir:
    @vasan:
    @khan:
    @Tariq:
    @antony:
    @Raw is War:
    @Randeep Sherpao:

    Something is burning. Why is it that whenever some positive news about Pakistan come out, Indians start sobbing. Is that their ego are hurt or your PM visist is subdued.Recommend

  • Polpot
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:26AM

    @Harbans: Leave Russia, can you name one major country which supports Pakistan on Kashmir ?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    China

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  • Aug 29, 2012 - 12:32PM

    Vienna,August 29,2012
    He wants give Pakistan an opportunity to out balance offered
    by the U.S,befriending India after biting over 55 years! Take
    the bite, the taste would be good for long time since the
    Russian Federation is not as far away as the United States.
    The Window of Opportunity is greater with so much Ismalist
    geography surroundings is useful for an ideological focusing.
    Greater chance for peace and prosperity.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Aug 29, 2012 - 12:44PM

    @Lala Gee: “Something is burning.”"
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The tyres set on fire by the protesters are burning, protesting against the non stop Loadshedding:)

    Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Aug 29, 2012 - 12:58PM

    @Polpot:
    China? Really!! Don’t go by their VISA policy. They care only about one country – China (and rightly so)

    Recommend

  • antony
    Aug 29, 2012 - 1:01PM

    @lalaachee, Nothing like burning feeling if Russia has good relation to Pakistan ..But it is a long shot considering Dagestan muslim revolt ,checnya issues.. I too have fairy tale desire to see pakistan cleanse all terrorists and accept LOC as final border and open trade,borders with India and be prosperous and friendly country to neighbhours and not bother about any other countries internal matter. Coming to reality , you have seen already Russia demanding projects (energy,dam etc) without competitive bidding and so Russia is after money more than brotherlyhood for Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Asad Raza
    Aug 29, 2012 - 1:50PM

    If my memory does not betray me, in January 1968, Mr. Kosygen, the then Prime Minister of USSR had visited Pakistan, in reply to late Ayub Khan’s visit in 1966 and removing military base in Peshawar afterwards. At that time, USSR gave some military aid and was going to give advanced military hardware. This alerted American and then we got Yahya Khan. All these military hardware was given to India in August 1971. This time we have to be careful. I will all the good luck to the President.

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  • Aug 29, 2012 - 2:06PM

    Sensible move to progress towards peace & stability in Aghanistan bearing positive effects for Pakistan in the coming days. I admire President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari for this proactive approach for the betterment of the people, solidarity and subsequent arrival of peace & developement in the country in the post US & Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan.
    Pakistan shall abide by the Foriegn Policy given to us by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and shall develope good relations with all our neighbours.Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq
    Aug 29, 2012 - 2:35PM

    @Nadir,

    The butcher of Chechnya, his backing for the Serbs unleashed misery in Kosovo. Now he is going to be hailed in Pakistan by the same people who were calling for prayers for Muslims in Chechnya and Kosovo. Stinks of hypocrisy!

    Those butchers who unleash their drones on women and children along the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan do not care much for the “prayers for Muslims” either. Are you posting this from the US Embassy in Islamabad?

    Recommend

  • G. Din
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:00PM

    “Pakistan and Russia, who remained bitter rivals for decades,…”
    Pakistan and Russia, rivals?
    Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “rival” as “one having the same pretensions and claims”
    Talk about Islamic braggadocio!

    Recommend

  • Ghaznavi
    Aug 29, 2012 - 4:53PM

    So Indians are worried that they wont get spare parts for their military toys and missiles from Russia!! Understandable!!

    India has graduated from Russian puppy to American Poodle.

    Now Russia is looking for new partners in the region.

    Whining India, yet again!!

    Recommend

  • jism
    Aug 29, 2012 - 9:15PM

    @Ghaznavi:
    India has graduated from Russian puppy to American Poodle.

    really,did you know that we have signed deals worth more than 40 billion dollars in defense trade with Russia.it could be more than 40 billion,i just gave you a rough figure.
    who told you that Russia were offering Pakistan a nuclear submarine?
    So Indians are worried that they wont get spare parts for their military toys and missiles from Russia!! Understandable!!
    from spare parts, we have moved on to joint research,development and production.

    Recommend

  • FU
    Aug 30, 2012 - 5:05PM

    @Ghaznavi
    So Indians are worried that they wont get spare parts for their military toys and missiles from Russia!! Understandable!! India has graduated from Russian puppy to American Poodle.

    Really.You think Pakistan can fill the gap. Just a visit by Putin you are already head on hills. Understandable you have come a long way from America to China and you want to be Russia’s Poddle.

    Now Russia is looking for new partners in the region.
    I am definitely sure they want to use Pakistan as a buffer rather than as a parnter in the region.

    Whining India, yet again!!
    Lol you will be the last one to whine when Russians visit Pakistan and offer nothing, just like the Chinese who directed your President to IMF when he went to ask for aid. Recommend

  • Tomas
    Sep 3, 2012 - 6:55PM

    India is no NAM thingi its a US lackey

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  • Hindu Indian
    Sep 24, 2012 - 1:54PM

    This is good news to Pakistan if you look at it as an option to make friendship out of this. If Pakistan is expecting aid or trying to get money out of US by blackmailing, this will be another effort down the drain :(

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