After presidential snub: Russia sends out top diplomat to placate Pakistan

Sergei Lavrov’s arrival tomorrow to coincide with Gen Kayani’s trip to Moscow.

Kamran Yousaf October 02, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov will travel to Pakistan this week in what appears to be a ‘damage control’ exercise after President Vladimir Putin postponed his scheduled trip to Islamabad recently.


Foreign ministry spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan told The Express Tribune that the Russian foreign minister will be visiting Islamabad for “bilateral consultations” from October 3-4.

“He is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, extended during her last visit to Moscow in February this year,” the spokesman said.

Official sources said this visit by the top Russian diplomat was aimed at dispelling impressions that efforts by the two sides to reset their otherwise troubled ties might get stalled after President Putin put off his maiden trip to Pakistan.

While the Russian foreign minister will be holding broad-based discussions with the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad, Chief of Army  Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani would be in Moscow at the same time for discussions with his counterpart.

Gen Kayani is due to leave for Russia on October 3 for a three-day trip as part of the new efforts launched by the former cold war rivals to open a new chapter in their ties.

The Afghan endgame is believed to be a major factor behind the apparent rapprochement between Islamabad and Moscow.

“Pakistan and Russia are increasingly concerned about the future of Afghanistan. And that is why they intend to expand their cooperation,” commented Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, a Jinnah fellow at the Oxford University.

According to Ishtiaq, Islamabad appears to be reaching out to countries like Russia in an effort to seek a regional solution to the Afghan conflict instead of the one the US is trying to impose.

A statement issued by the foreign ministry also hinted at this assessment by suggesting that Pakistan and Russia “share the common objective of peace and stability” in the region.

“We attach importance to regional connectivity both in terms of trade and energy cooperation,” the statement added.

Recently, the two countries also held their second Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Islamabad and discussed concrete proposals on various areas of cooperation including energy, industries and production, bilateral trade and investment, scientific and technical cooperation, agriculture, etc.

The foreign ministry spokesperson said that the forthcoming visit of Foreign Minister Lavrov would provide an opportunity to further expand and intensify the existing mutually-beneficial bilateral ties.

During his stay in Islamabad, besides holding bilateral consultations, Foreign Minister Lavrov is also scheduled to call on President Asif Ali Zardari and the prime minister.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2012.

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COMMENTS (45)

mindless | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@ Dr.A.K.Tewari Man first of all stick with the news article what it is about, Stop taking your grudge out at "mullah moulded Islam". The way you pointing your fingers, i see a little extremist inside you. he is trying to blow out!, Stick with topic what is the news about, your paranoia is vivid in your words. Your pre supposed notion that India is better than Pakistan is laughable, Have you checked poverty in both countries! I think on Indian side it is bigger numbers. As for Russian leverage toward Pakistan, then history shows better, changing times need new thinking, new strategies, new alliances. Russia signed a friendship treaty with Finland after its declaration for Independence. Moscow metro is full of metro stations named after Finland and its historic places. What proves it, changing time, changes attitudes. One thing is constant in this world and that is change. Regarding Mullah moulded Islam! The spelling of moulded is wrong it is molded, if that what you meant, The word mullah is used in Muslim and Jewish communities for a person who is prayer leader. But specifically in south Asian countries it is who is educated in Islamic theology and sacred Islamic law. Islam does not revolve around mullah, it revolves around ALLAH. No body can change it, it is as it is since its first day from Cave Hira. I interpret your statement as following that mullah's are able to change Islam, which i think you misunderstood, it is lack of knowledge on your part or mere misunderstanding. Branding Pakistan as breeding ground is bigotry on your part. I can brand India for multiple things like child labor, social in equality made mandatory by hindu religion. But by doing such i miss the whole picture about India, which i think you are also missing about Pakistan. So much sacrifices what Pakistan has given India has no Balls to give.

Dr.A.K.Tewari | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@mindless , So what. At present India is not in any once lap . India,USA , Russia and China are cooperating on equal footing against the war against terrorism as each one of them feel that Pakistan is a breeding ground for terrorists . Each one of them is having good relation with real muslims there and striving to weed out the mullah moulded Islam from there .

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