Top Pakistani General Arrives in Washington Next Week
I’ve confirmed with Pakistan’s Washington embassy that Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the chief of staff of the Pakistani Army, will arrive in D.C. early next week. He’ll spend four days in town, probably joining Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for Wednesday’s big bilateral talks at the State Department, and definitely meeting with Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Kayani’s closest American counterpart. My understanding is that Kayani will also meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but the general’s schedule has yet to be finalized. It’s Kayani’s first visit to Washington since last year, and an opportunity for the Obama administration to press one of the most important men representing one of the most important institutions in Pakistan about just what’s behind Pakistan’s recent arrests of Afghan Taliban figures.