A top Russian military commander paid a rare visit to Pakistan in a latest sign of growing ties between the bitter cold-war rivals.
The visit by Russian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Alexander Postnikov was the first by any senior military official from Russia in recent years.
General Postnikov met Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Tuesday at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. He also separately met Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Khalid Shameem Wynne.
The significance of the visit can be judged from the fact that the Russian general was given a guard of honor and full protocol upon his arrival at the GHQ, said a Pakistani military official.
“This kind of warm reception is given only to the dignitaries from friendly countries,” he added.
A brief statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations said that the two generals discussed matters of professional interest. However, official sources say that regional security situation following the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was the key topic of discussion.
The focus of their discussion was the Afghan endgame and how Pakistan and Russia can contribute to the stability of the war-ravaged country, the sources added.
“Pakistan and Russia certainly can work together with Afghanistan through trilateral and quadrilateral forums,” remarked a foreign office official.
The visit comes as Pakistan’s relations with the US have been severely strained by the killing of Bin Laden.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ