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.