Russian FM’s visit to Pakistan opens new avenues of cooperation

Russian FM’s visit to Pakistan opens new avenues of cooperation

Pakistan supports all initiative for peace in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD – Following a much-awaited visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Pakistan, both sides agreed to expand their cooperation and collaboration from energy to commercial, defence and security fields. 

Russian FM Lavor held a detailed press conference and made no secret of Russia’s intension to expand strategic ties with Pakistan and offered to deliver defence products needed by Pakistan. 

During a short but hectic visit, the Russian foreign minister met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa following his delegation-level detailed meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, Sham Mahmood Qureshi.

Receiving the Russian dignitary the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa Pakistan extended Pakistan’s support to “all initiatives which can bring peace and stability in Afghanistan as the whole region will benefit from it”.

This was a suggestion that Islamabad was also supporting the Moscow Format on Afghanistan. General Bajwa made clear that “Pakistan has no hostile designs towards any country and it will keep on working towards a cooperative regional framework based on sovereign equality and mutual progress.”

An official statement added that FM Lavrov and General Bajwa also discussed ‘matters of mutual interest including enhanced defence and security cooperation, regional security, particularly Afghan Peace Process. The visiting dignitary acknowledged Pakistan’s achievements in the war against terrorism and contributions to regional peace and stability especially Pakistan’s sincere efforts in the Afghan peace process.

It was for the first time that Islamabad and Moscow discussed all bilateral, regional and international issues and vowed to work closely to facilitate solutions from Afghanistan to Palestine, developments from Gulf, North Africa to the Pacific and agreed to collectively meet other challenges. 

While receiving FM Lavrov and his high-powered team the Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to expeditiously conclude the requisite legal process for the Pakistan Stream (formerly called North-South Gas Pipeline) project and commence the work as early as possible.

Prime Minister reiterated the “importance Pakistan attaches to its relations with Russia as a key foreign policy priority.” PM Khan urged the need for “enhanced bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, industrial modernization, railways, and aviation.

“Both sides agreed to systematically address the issues at the Inter-Governmental Commission, due to meet in Moscow later this year and vowed to “closely pursue specific proposals and projects”.

The Prime Minister congratulated Russia on its development of Sputnik-V vaccine and underscored Pakistan’s procurement plans in this regard.

With reference to the situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on issues of peace and security in South Asia, including the need for peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The Prime Minister extended an invitation to President Putin to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

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