Pakistan to seek early rescheduling of Russian president’s visit

Published: October 4, 2012

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to meet top Pakistani leaders today. PHOTO: REUTERS.

ISLAMABAD: To offset the diplomatic setback caused by the unexpected cancellation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s much-anticipated visit, Pakistan will seek early rescheduling of Putin’s maiden trip when Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov meets top Pakistani leaders today (Thursday).

Lavrov arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday on a two-day tour as part of ongoing efforts to formalise the silent reset in Pakistan-Russia relations. The Russian president is believed to have sent his top diplomat to Islamabad in a bid to assure the Pakistani leadership that his decision to postpone his trip would not affect rapprochement efforts.

President Putin was due to attend a quadrilateral summit involving Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan planned for October 2-3 in Islamabad, but he cancelled what would be a landmark visit without giving any indication when, if at all, he would visit Pakistan.

There was also no statement from the Russian presidency or its ministry of foreign affairs on the trip cancellation.

A senior foreign ministry official told The Express Tribune that Islamabad is still pushing Moscow to agree on an early date for the first-ever visit by a Russian president to Pakistan in the six-decade long Islamabad-Moscow relations.

Foreign Minister Lavrov will hold formal talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on a range of issues from bilateral economic cooperation to the Afghan endgame, said foreign ministry spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan.

The spokesman said Pakistan and Russia have a “commonality of interests and views” on many regional and international issues, including the Afghan endgame.

The increased cooperation between the former Cold War rivals is believed to be closely watched in Washington. Some Pakistani officials suspect that the US might be behind the cancellation of Putin’s visit to Islamabad, saying the Americans fear such realignment would have far-reaching implications for Afghanistan.

Lavrov’s visit coincides with army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s trip to Moscow, where he is expected to discuss the current regional security situation with his Russian counterpart.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Ahmed
    Oct 4, 2012 - 10:25AM

    Finally!!!! One right move by Pakistan. Need of the hour is to align the country’s security and economic policies with Russia and China and stop being a client state to US. Bet US doesn’t like this.

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  • Kashif
    Oct 4, 2012 - 10:42AM

    I am not convince if Russians will consider Pakistan their friend because Pak played an important role to break USSR into pieces……
    If Russia wants to plaster that damage to thier relationship, this is a good sign for Pak.

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 11:19AM

    Vienna,October 4,2012
    The cancellation of Putin´s visit has reason within Pakistan
    itself.There is no point blaming the United States. It is up
    to Pakistan to present to the world its real head of state,
    symbolic or powered to execute and implement decisions.
    The NRO settlement holds the key.One thing is clear it
    is indeed army is the base of power. Is that enough ?
    General Kayani´s visit to Kremlin should help some way.
    But the key remains with the court.Pakistani institutions
    have yet to stabilize.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 11:34AM

    The proposed visit is driven by economic reasons mainly . The visit can be rescheduled earliest on the ability to clarify and remove the apprehensions of Russia on the projects for investment and to some extent on Pakistan’s foreign policy.

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  • Asad
    Oct 4, 2012 - 12:39PM

    Let see how Pakistan handles this.

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  • Zafar Rao
    Oct 4, 2012 - 1:06PM

    Russia has always been a balancing factor in world politics which is evident from the post disintegration scenario of USSR. West has always opposed establishment of contacts between North and South Asia through Pakistan and Afghanistan, which eventually puts the West out of world politics. Pakistan must exploit its geo-strategic location to play a pivotal role and should not be hostage to Western countries to become the buffer/blockade between North and South Asia. Pakistan’s enhanced relationship will help in decreasing the tension in our region and will present excellent economic opportunities for the entire Asia.Recommend

  • akbar malik
    Oct 4, 2012 - 1:34PM

    @Kashif: UUSR was a communist state. Russia is a Christian country. Pakistan was against USSR and its westward expansionism

    Pakistan has nothing against Russia.

    The two can be friends.

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 3:00PM

    There is no such leadership in Pakistan who make the way out
    in between the two super powers safely.

    American would remained in the region but with assistant of Pakistan
    its prolonged stay is not acceptable to Russia and china

    American withdrawal in 2014 looks impossible to some extend so regional
    powers are coming into movement.they don’t want American presence in the
    region at any cost so have come out on the diplomatic way having in hand
    new strategy and program.

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  • Abdul
    Oct 4, 2012 - 3:48PM

    It’s ironic n illogical to not to have friendly relations with Russia. Historical facts indicate that Russian’s always tried to extend friendly gesture towards Pakistan n for some odd reason each or at least most of the time Pakistani leadership failed to show proper goodwill. Question why/what happen when Russian forces entered Afghanistan (with or without invitation) does not justify present/future friendship. History has shown that our past/ present western friends (9 out of 10 times) left us in cold waters n we continue fall in their laps. Its about time that government/people of Pakistan seriously evaluate n correct past mistakes. Money is important but it’s not everything-start thinking what’s best for the country n the region we live in.

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  • Gratgy
    Oct 4, 2012 - 4:31PM

    @akbar malik
    UUSR was a communist state. Russia is a Christian country. Pakistan was against USSR and its westward expansionism

    The world doesn’t revolve around religion. Russia+colonies=USSR

    Now Russia loses its colonies because of you, should it be happy?

    Pakistan has nothing against Russia.
    The two can be friends.

    But what if Russia has something against Pakistan?

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  • Zafar Rao
    Oct 5, 2012 - 11:31AM

    @Gratgy
    If Russia has something against Pakistan then matters can be resolved through diplomacy. Otherwise Pakistan is moving well with countries who have more things then Russia against Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Gratgy
    Oct 5, 2012 - 3:38PM

    @Zafar Rao
    You missed the point I was making. Read the statement
    “Pakistan has nothing against Russia. The two can be friends.”

    Now read your statement
    “If Russia has something against Pakistan then matters can be resolved through diplomacy.

    Would you say the same thing for Pakistan Israel relations?

    Pakistan should have diplomacy even with those it has something against. There are no Friends or Enemies in international relations.

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  • Zafar Rao
    Oct 5, 2012 - 11:14PM

    @Gratgy
    I fully agree with your views as there are no Friends or Enemies in international relations and every country must seek positive and beneficial relationship with all countries without being hostage to the past.

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  • Oct 15, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Closer economic relations with Russia is a good idea but do have sound projects or vision for this.None has seen the light of the day except that Russia should invest in our energy sector.

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