The Pakistani leadership have moved in opposite directions in the face of one of the most shocking and disastrous suicide attacks on its capital.
While President Zardari is currently en route to United States to attend the UN Assembly as well as have a talk with President George W Bush, Pakistan’s Chief Of Army Staff has gone East on a 5 day official trip to China.
This happens to be quite an interesting move in a sense that while our President is heading to United States to possibly ensure that Pakistan’s solidarity shall remain as staunch as ever, our COAS is going over to our long time friend, China where he will be meeting the Chinese President Hu Jintao as well as visiting three military regions namely Shenyang military region, Beijing military region and Chengdu military region. The two countries are building some of their most sophisticated war machinery through mutual cooperation in the Chengdu Region including the multi-role medium-tech J-17 fighter planes. The sources revealed that General Kiyani would also visit some exercise areas where he would be shown some of the most modern defense equipment and war machinery that China has recently developed through indigenous research. General Kiyani will extend invitation to General Chen Bingde to visit Pakistan.
Whether the purpose of these polar opposite visits is to give a message to the United States and the rest of the world regarding a massive shift in Pakistan’s anti-terrorism policies or something else, there are huge expectations from both these tours.
President Zardari will probably be facing one of the toughest situations in his political career so far as he will be indulging the President of the United States in talks over various issues of grave importance ranging from Washington allowing US forces to operate inside Pakistan to where the relations between the two countries stand. He has already been snubbed and criticized for canceling his visit to China in favor of UK and the US and he will have tough waters to tread in the West and back home.
The nation, still bleeding, awaits its leaders’ next stance – and it is about time we take one!