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

Published: October 2, 2012
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov. PHOTO: FILE

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov. PHOTO: FILE

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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Reader Comments (45)

  • Jat
    Oct 2, 2012 - 9:59AM

    What a headline ! As Kamran Shafi would say, shame on you. Russia trying to placate the world’s only superpower, Pakistan.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Oct 2, 2012 - 10:00AM

    So, India is indeed a super power.

    India can arm twist US into declaring JUD a terrorist organization and put a bounty on Saeed.

    India can arm twist China to vote against JUD at UN.

    India can arm twist Russia into canceling a presidential visit.

    Wow! India seems to be the most powerful country in the world…NOT!

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  • Rana
    Oct 2, 2012 - 10:18AM

    Priorities!Recommend

  • Butt
    Oct 2, 2012 - 11:51AM

    As usual, a second fiddle comes in.

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  • M. Ahmed
    Oct 2, 2012 - 12:04PM

    From Russia with love.

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  • mindless
    Oct 2, 2012 - 1:17PM

    @ all
    The difference in US and Russia is, that you cant arm twist US until, unless u have lobbyist working for your cause. In Russia you need to know top men, after years of years of bilateral relationship between India and Russia, the Kremlin Circle think Pakistan is more vital than India. Reason Pakistan has guts to Stand up against west which Russia really wants. Another perspective is Golden triangle theory, which says Russia, China Pakistan as main player, knocking off almost 1 n half billion people under one authoritarian policy. See the game changer.

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  • Muhammad Yaqub
    Oct 2, 2012 - 1:30PM

    The Russians see through the dual policies of the Pakistani’s. Pakistan can never afford to leave the American and NATO camp. They are just trying to act more mature and responsible.

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  • Jat
    Oct 2, 2012 - 1:31PM

    @mindless: “…Reason Pakistan has guts to Stand up against west…”

    hahahahaha tum aaj bhi west ke tukdon par palte ho. Your economic policy simply consists of begging and borrowing from the west.

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  • ahmer
    Oct 2, 2012 - 1:47PM

    @mindless:
    you truly are mindless

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  • Majed
    Oct 2, 2012 - 2:00PM

    The narrative that Pakistan is seeking to independently maneuver with Russia against US interests in Afghanistan is part of a DECEPTION campaign that STATE APPARATUS is pursuing to bolster its credibility domestically. Putin snub to Pakistan has really taken away air out this narrative balloon because if anything remotely was supposed to be true about this narrative, Putin wouldn’t have missed the narrative.

    With regards to the issue, i think Russia sees US strategic architecture post 2014 as threatening to its interests in Central Asia and sees Pakistan as supporting this plan. That is why Lavrov is coming to Pakistan instead of president and possibly to deliver Russian concerns.

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  • Polpot
    Oct 2, 2012 - 2:11PM

    This is like USA sending Mrs Clinton to Pakistan in place of Obama……
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • Abdul Azeem
    Oct 2, 2012 - 2:16PM

    Its really a good sign for desperate nation.

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  • Leopard
    Oct 2, 2012 - 2:29PM

    A futile effort while “ACTUAL BOSS” will not be around.

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  • antsnu g
    Oct 2, 2012 - 2:45PM

    a sad news for those who took the putin’s cancellation as a snub.Recommend

  • peace for all
    Oct 2, 2012 - 4:46PM

    After partition we were can’t given any lift to Russia since long due to developed relation with USA and now its rights of Russian to show own value.

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  • G. Din
    Oct 2, 2012 - 5:03PM

    @mindless: to all
    “…under one authoritarian policy….”
    That says it all! But, who will decide that “authoritarian policy”? It certainly will not be Pakistan. You still will be assigned the tasks of a butler or a valet or a khadim to carry out menial tasks in return for scraps thrown your way! This time, however, everyone will be wary of the perfidy you have proven yourself to be capable of.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 2, 2012 - 6:49PM

    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.

    Oh please — Pakistan got left out of the “end game” and is desperate to try and convince anyone to follow it’s lead — ain’t going to happen because the rest of the World has decided your part of the problem.

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  • ali
    Oct 2, 2012 - 11:18PM

    in international relations one nation dont change their friends overnight………India is still sticking with russia .the usa is trying to win india into its camp but there is deep distrust of the usa in the indian camp which will take years to change…………pakistan is foolish to think that it can be in the russian camp in one night when russia still remembers what pak has done to it in afganistan…………………….pak has now no real friends except china which will ditch it when it suits them.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 2, 2012 - 11:50PM

    As USA’s unilateralism has demonstrated, in future the survival will be in blocs and the most formidable bloc to challenge USA would be the one comprising Iran, Pakistan, India with Russia and China providing the depth along with Central Asian countries. Fortunately or unfortunately Pakistan divides this bloc like a stick struck in the center and without Pakistan this bloc cannot be formed. So ultimately all regional powers would have to come forward to rid Pakistan from USA’s clutches for their own sake. Postponement of a visit here and there does not mean much.
    No matter what strategic partnership USA and India may claim, Indian leadership would never be inclined to play USA’s game in the region, though they would continue to suck them as long as they can.
    Survival of this region lies in unity and joint response to external threat.

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  • Haq
    Oct 3, 2012 - 12:33AM

    Guys. World is changing very fast. It’s just a matter of time. History tells that super powers gets corrupt (in every way) & than disintegrates. What matters the most; what we can do, to make this World better place for our future generations. Pakistan has a very bright future & a key role player, both regionally & globally.

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  • realist
    Oct 3, 2012 - 1:52AM

    But Putin has enough time to make visits to Syria and Iran. Russians are smart. All they need to do is to look at how Pak has behaved with US. Russia is showing Pak its place.

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  • Vikrant1993
    Oct 3, 2012 - 5:16AM

    There is an organization called NATO.Its comprised of all of US allies and itself as the leader.During the Cold War,the Warsaw Pact was the only other organization that could counter them.Though since the collapse of the USSR and the Soviet Republics, there is not a organization that can counter the NATO threat.Until a few years back,where Russia and China with a few Central Asian nations created the SCO.Which is ultimately a counter to NATO,which is shaping as a military alliance and also a economic one. Russia has encouraged India to join and China encouraged Pakistan to join.Though India has filled for petition to join,Pakistan has yet to do so.And even after the Pakistanis gave interest into it,they filled also.Even though they accepted,all the nations have to work together.Without that,the entire organization is useless.That’s the only reason Russia is trying to patch stuff up with Pakistan.They know once the US officially denounces Pakistan,its going to fend for itself.So its the best time to get them to start thinking to get them on board of working with India and others.

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  • realist
    Oct 3, 2012 - 9:10AM

    placate Pakistan- placate the 12th most failed state? Russia is actually showing Pak its place!

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  • Oct 3, 2012 - 4:38PM

    Well known, independent and reliable sources saying on condition of anonymity because they have no authority to have talk to the media on the subject,tremendous political and strategic changes are expected in the region,in the very short span of time.
    Potin’s visit postponement reveals time has been extended for setting the stage for further discussion on the future line of action.

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  • mindless
    Oct 3, 2012 - 4:49PM

    @Jat n G.Din
    First of all mind your lingo, second analyse strategy and reason. South Korea became 13 richest nation of world, did you ask your self how much development Aid they took from US, Europe. Mind you the day South Korea got its title of 13th richest Nation, the president thanked the world for the aid. What lies behind such aid the strategic importance. In world there are two major strategic decisions which west took and then later enjoyed its fruits. 1- West Germany was provided with aid (financial) to mock the communist. 2- South Korea was provided with aid and military support.

    What China and Russia doing is the same. Strategic decisions against what they call as strategic influence. Just jumping in your pond will not make you clever, look beyond the horizon.. Recommend

  • Dr. A.K.Tewari
    Oct 3, 2012 - 5:14PM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    Oh, is there any doubt about it ?. India has been and will remain an spiritual super power of the world and this power is above all types of material powers . Mind it .

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 3, 2012 - 5:36PM

    @realist:
    Pakistan was instrumental in breakup of USSR, so they exactly know our place.
    Muslims ruled over India over ten centuries, yet left Hindus in substantial majority, is not it enough proof of what Muslims are made of – why this acrimony?

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  • Jat
    Oct 3, 2012 - 6:19PM

    @mindless: Everyone hush; a successor to the great military strategist Zaid Hamid has arrived on the scene. He treatise on Golden Triangle Theory will be the most important geopolitical work after the “Clash of civilizations”.

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  • Dr. A.K.Tewari
    Oct 3, 2012 - 8:11PM

    @Tahir Ali:
    If you feel acrimony is there , that too is not baseless .We claim to be a followers of Sanatan Dharma and not a mulla moulded majahab . Yes we are still surviving and will survive even after several Jehads .

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  • mindless
    Oct 3, 2012 - 8:29PM

    @JAT
    You are still missing my point. You pointed by saying we live on AID, so my friend how much aid India got from US and Europe have u check that Until recently they were getting it despite strong economic growth. AID is not shame, and it does not make you beggar.
    1994 Russia took millions of Dollars in Aid to re start its economy. Read carefully and learn it. I think at the end HUSH! I can not reason/argue with bull (JAT).

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 3, 2012 - 9:18PM

    @Dr. A.K.Tewari:
    It seems that even education has not contributed to make you a better human being. If Sanathan Dharma produces people of your mindset, I think we are much better off.
    Let me reiterate one again, be thankful to the Muslims who left you in substantial majority even after a rule of thousand years, even when the system was rule by brute force. Compare it with the plight of Muslims now living under Hindu India, and that also in a democratic dispensation. So, Dr, hate won’t take you anywhere.

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  • gp65
    Oct 3, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @Tahir Ali: “As USA’s unilateralism has demonstrated, in future the survival will be in blocs and the most formidable bloc to challenge USA would be the one comprising Iran, Pakistan, India with Russia and China providing the depth along with Central Asian countries. Fortunately or unfortunately Pakistan divides this bloc like a stick struck in the center and without Pakistan this bloc cannot be formed. So ultimately all regional powers would have to come forward to rid Pakistan from USA’s clutches for their own sake.”

    Deluded much? India Pakistan Iran Russia China ganging up against US?

    You do know that for the last 10 years, India has been building a strategic partnership with US? China’s largest export market by far is US and it holds a trillion dollars in US treasury?
    If US, China, Iran and India have one thing in common, they all complain about terrorism in their respective countries emanating from Pakistan.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 4, 2012 - 1:05AM

    @gp65:

    I am fed up responding to comments by people with no identity or those using code names. Lets assume that you are an American.
    “Deluded much? India Pakistan Iran Russia China ganging up against US?”

    When USA gangs up with 40 countries to attack Iraq or Afghanistan, its Alliance and when the others join hands for mutual defense, that’s ganging up.

    Pakistan has suffered over 35000 killed because of our decision to support USA’s WOT, yet it is not satisfied, forcing us to rethink our strategy. There was no terrorism in this region before the onset of operation ‘enduring freedom’ which is now turning into ‘enduring humiliation’

    You want to know why? While your Declared Objective was to stabilize the region and ensure that no 9/11 like incidents are planned and executed from Pakistan or Afghanistan, in fact, your Covert Objectives have been to gain and maintain foot-hold in Central Asia to:-
    – Deny China access to Indian Ocean / mouth of Gulf, as well as, energy resources of Central Asia.
    – Encirclement of Iran.
    – Prevent this region from becoming a political bloc in the future comprising major countries including Iran, Pakistan, India, China and Russian Federation.
    – Gain control over Pakistan’s nuclear program.
    And hats off to US policy makers, they are relying former Northern Alliance, a proxy of Russia-Iran-India Nexus, to achieve the above covert objectives.

    All the regional countries now understand USA’s intentions well and counter strategies are in place.

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  • Jat
    Oct 4, 2012 - 1:54AM

    @Tahir Ali: Delusions of grandeur ! Nothing you have said makes geopolitical sense. Keep living in the cloud cuckooland as Kamran Shafi would say.

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  • Jat
    Oct 4, 2012 - 1:55AM

    @mindless: We agree to disagree. Peace.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 4, 2012 - 9:52AM

    Tahir , it seems to me that you are still living in the 7th centuary . Now the world community is commited to wipe out mulla moulded Islam being practiced in some muslim countries . The war against terrorism is not going to stop before achieving the said objectives ,

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 9:55AM

    Now eyes are opened,what is going on,an aggressive super power on head any time may proceed wrong direction.It also can see what kind of activities are going on inside the regional
    states.

    China and Russia are not in favor to tolerate its stay here for long time,American stay in the region is not the favor of regional countries.

    As for its withdrawal in 2014 is not dependable the statements has been aired with a planned approach so that justification can be provided to extension its endless stay there.

    Timely movement in Russia is admirable.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 4, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @gp65, Tahir won’t understand your language . He think Pakistan was instrumental in dividing the USSR . In fact it was US which still has the potential to divide the nation who is posing the threat to world peace .
    Tahir , don’t make castle in air .

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  • G. Din
    Oct 4, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @Sultan Ahmed.:
    “Timely movement in Russia is admirable.”
    If you are hoping that this movement will be in your direction, you are in for yet another disappointment. The problem with Muslims generally and Pakistan in particular is that neither knows its proper place in the scheme of things. It is because that they both think that the whole divinity is behind them. In truth, you are just a pawn on the geopolitical chessboard. Learn from Vietnam how to conduct yourself. It defeated three major powers including a superpower and then quietly settled down to developing itself. It commands respect of the whole world today. In contrast, you were routed in every war you initiated to prove that you count. Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 4, 2012 - 6:34PM

    ”To placate the Pakistan”

    Is it having some meaning here?

    Surgery of Pakistan is a must .

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 4, 2012 - 7:06PM

    @ ET
    Its a shame how you are pursuing Indian agenda. You posts comments such as, “We claim to be a followers of Sanatan Dharma and not a mulla moulded majahab” and not my last response to Dr Tiwari and yet your Executive Editor chooses to write an article on right to information.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 5, 2012 - 12:54AM

    @Cautious: Mark my words, without Pakistan, there won’t be any end game in Afghanistan. Lets play straight. USA should not rely on India, they are untrustworthy. they were in USSR’s camp during the cold war, now they are sitting in USA’s lap, who knows to which side they would tilt in the future.

    @ET : Thank you for posting my last remarks, directly hitting at you. I see hope.

    However, you have not published my responses to Jat and Tiwari. You could have done that by editing the portions not suitable as per your moderation policy.

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  • mindless
    Oct 5, 2012 - 2:50PM

    @to all indian lovers of dharma etc..

    Tell me why the Minister of Defense of Russia cancelled his visit to India, when General Kayani is in Russia. One can understand to whom they give importance. All caps in Moscow for General Kayani in Moscow. Read Russian media, He was given guard of honor, And then full protocol. Nice one.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 5, 2012 - 5:17PM

    @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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  • mindless
    Oct 6, 2012 - 4:07AM

    @ 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.

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