Putin’s cancelled visit


“Army fully supports any political process, as long as it is within the constitution,” said Gen Kayani before leaving for Russia while referring to Balochistan. This statement is surprising and equally damaging for the elected government as it tantamount to interfering in the politics of the country. COAS should have been careful at a time when the country’s political atmosphere is dangerously fragile. He should have talked about military cooperation and exchange of high level military delegations instead of talking about constitution on which army’s track record is very poor.
Any visit by military head to any friendly country provides opportunity to interact and create atmosphere of goodwill and better understanding. To expect miracles with just one visit is asking too much. We must not forget that our relationship started derailing when Liaqat Ali Khan preferred to visit USA instead of USSR. It entered the worst era when on 01 May, 1960, a US spy plane U2 flew from Badaber (Peshawar) and was shot down by Russians. But due credit must be given to the Russians in forgetting the past and moving forward, of course with reservations.
President Putin has a favorable approach towards Pakistan and is on record to have offered expansion of Pakistan Steel and has also shown interest in developing the Thar coal project. Putin had also condemned attack on Salala checkpost as it interfered with the sovereignty of an independent state.
It is not correct to suggest that it is a big shock to the Americans as President Musharraf and Kayani have visited Russia in the past. The US is too busy in elections and has little time on such minor developments. In any case, our relations spread over a decade cannot be put right by Gen Kayani’s visit as everyone is watching who forms the next government.
Our media created hype before Putin’s cancelled visit and now undue hype is being created on Gen Kayani’s visit. After 9/11, Islamabad and Moscow came closer when US was given free hand to deal Taliban. Pakistan enjoys unique position in South Asia, whether it is US or Russia, both have interest in South Asia and Pakistan is the gateway. Therefore, both countries have to have cordial relations with Pakistan to gain access to CAS. Pakistan has to be very careful in its policies as it is going to have serious impact after the elections in US and Pakistan. Lastly, Pakistan army should avoid making political statements and to follow the constitution should be left to the parliamentarians and the Supreme Court. All institutions must work within the prescribed limits and four-walls of their mandates. Interference or public announcements/statements that affect the functioning/working of other institutions should be avoided at all costs.


  1. "But due credit must be given to the Russians in forgetting the past and moving forward, of course with reservations."
    "The US is too busy in elections and has little time on such minor developments."

    These above mentioned statements of the writer are quite unrealistic and illogical. No times for dreams any more!

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