The Bombing in Russia and the Consequences for AfPak

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Context

The very day the 6th meeting of the Pakistan-Russian Consultative Group on Strategic Stability was taking place in Islamabad, an explosion occurred at Moscow’s Domodedovo international airport killing 35 people. The agenda items for the discussion included arms control, international and regional security, nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and Pakistan Foreign Secretary Munawar Saeed Bhatti attended the talks. Pakistan would be hoping that the bombing is not linkages to FATA and the extremists there. Most of the reports from Russia indicate the suicide bomber belonged to the troublesome North Caucasus region. However, if links are found with Al Qaeda, the pressure could grow up on Pakistan to act in North Waziristan.

 

On the other hand, Afghan President Hamiz Karzai also visited Russia from Jan 20 to 21. President Medvedev assured him that the country would help Afghanistan in the economic and energy sectors especially. Russia is already providing a vital supply route for coalition forces in Afghanistan. The bombing could also be meant to warn Russia against making a return to Afghanistan.

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