A SMALL handout was issued by the ISPR on March 25 informing the nation about a meeting of Chief of Army Staff General Parvez Kayani and American Secretary of State John Kerry at Amman. This is the most unprecedented meeting between a Pakistani army chief and an American secretary of state on another soil.

Many questions come to mind. Was it planned beforehand or did it take place accidentally? In both cases diplomatic and political norms have been overridden.

It must be kept in mind that Kerry was in Amman with American President Obama and General Kayani is on official tour and happened to be in the same place at the same time: quite a coincidence.

On top of it is the news that Kerry has postponed his visit to Pakistan lest he is seen as interfering in Pakistan’s forthcoming elections. Thus can it be assumed that instead of coming here the agenda was discussed at Amman?

In the background of our volatile political situation such meetings cannot be seen as mere courtesies. The major query is why our Foreign Office was not present or, in other words, were they even informed about it?

With the dissolution of parliament all ministers have gone home and I am sure Gen Kayani has not been entrusted with foreign policy in the interim government.

MAJ (r) AAMIR CHEEMA Islamabad

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