Pak army chief in Moscow as US readies Afghan surge news
Rajiv Singh
22 June 2009

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Islamabad: As part of heightened diplomatic activity in the Afghanistan and the Indian sub-continent region, Pakistan army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani arrived in Moscow on Sunday to hold talks with the entire spectrum of the Russian civilian and military leadership including its president, prime minister and the top rung of the military hierarchy.

General Kayani's visit to Moscow is taking place at the invitation of his Russian counterpart General Vladimir Boldyrev, the commander-in-chief of Russian Land Forces.

The visit comes hot on the heels of Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari's recent trip to Russia to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.

Pakistan has been resisting attempts by the Americans to involve India more significantly in its so-called 'Af-Pak' policy as a concerned regional power. A deeper involvement of India in Afghanistan's problems runs against Pakistan's concept of ''strategic depth,'' through which it considers Afghanistan as its strategic backyard, where it can determine the political fate and outlook of Kabul.

In its attempts to stymie India, Pakistan has begun actively wooing the support of major powers such as China, Russia and Iran. Pakistan actively sought Chinese and Russian support at the recent SCO summit held at Ekaterinburg.

The 21-23 June visit of General Kayani to Russia is now being perceived as significant in this regard.

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Pak army chief in Moscow as US readies Afghan surge