NATO Secretary General visits Pakistan

On January 22nd and 23rd, the NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer visited Pakistan. He met with President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Foreign Minister Qureshi, Defence Minister Mukhtar and General Kayani, Chief of the General Staff, as well as other senior officials.

Their discussions aimed to establish a stronger political level dialogue, to match the good military to military cooperation currently deepening between Pakistan, on its side of the border, and Afghan and ISAF forces on the Afghan side.

They agreed that all three militaries need to step up their cooperation, and, in parallel, their operations, to deal more effectively with extremists crossing the border.

The Secretary General welcomed Pakistan’s acceptance of NATO’s offer to provide training to Pakistani officers in NATO schools, and thanked the Pakistani authorities for their efforts to protect ISAF supply lines through Khyber.

All the Secretary General’s interlocutors shared his view that Pakistan and Afghanistan face the same challenge of violent extremism, and that the strong political relationship between the two countries, and with NATO, was an essential element in combatting this threat.