ISLAMABAD - International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Deputy Commander Lt-Gen Nick Carter landed in Pakistan on Wednesday to meet the country’s top military officials, after Gen John Allen’s visit reportedly had to be cancelled owing to a pending inquiry against him.

This is the first visit of an allied forces’ commander in nearly five months. According to military officials, ISAF Commander General Allen’s scheduled visit to Pakistan had been pending since August this year and later in the last month the General Headquarters (GHQ) had received confirmation from the ISAF command that the Western military alliance chief would visit Pakistan in November. However, following the launch of a departmental probe against him in connection with the Petraeus scandal that involves former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director General David Petraeus, the said visit has been cancelled, the officials said.

General Allen last visited Pakistan in June this year to discuss border coordination with Pakistan’s military Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, a few days before the resumption of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) supplies. The general was expected to arrive in Pakistan again on August 30 to discuss the security scenario ahead of a possible launch of a full-scale military offensive in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA). However, the said visit was postponed as the ISAF commander was reported to have been directly supervising an ISAF-led military offensive launched emergently against the miscreants in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province in coordination with Afghan National Army (ANA).

When approached by phone on Wednesday, spokesperson for ISAF in Kabul Brig Gen Gunzter Katz declined responding to queries regarding General Allen’s cancelled visit to Pakistan.

A statement from Pakistan Army’s mouthpiece, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said the ISAF deputy commander met Lt-Gen Waheed Arshad, chief of the general staff.  “The meeting was the latest in a regular series of engagements aimed at bolstering the military-to-military relationship between ISAF and Pakistan, as well as improving security in the region,” it added.

It said that both the generals discussed a variety of issues relating to mutually shared goals of peace and stability in the region, including pressuring militant groups and strengthening cross-border cooperation along the Pak-Afghan border.”

“This ongoing strategic dialogue between senior ISAF and Pakistani leaders, supported by frequent discussions at lower levels, has enhanced the effectiveness of operations on respective sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,” the statement added.

The ISPR quoted General Carter as having said, “ISAF and Pakistan are committed to peace and security on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, so these discussions are very important. We are committed to achieving enduring solutions to security issues.”