Monday, April 26, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister’s Visit to Pakistan

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov meeting PM Imran Khan during his two days visit

The restoration of mutual trust and friendly relations between Islamabad and Moscow started when Pakistani Army Chief General Raheel Shareef visited Russia in June 2015. On arrival at Kremlin, the Russian Army gave a warm welcome to the Pakistani Army Chief. Guard of Honour was presented. Gen Raheel Shareef visited the Tomb of Unknown Soldier to lay the wreath of flowers, Russian Army Band played the tune of the Pakistani National Anthem. This was a message of friendship for Pakistan which was considered by America and the West as a siren of threat. Indians claimed it as a failure of Modi on a Diplomatic level. Russia gave Pakistan 4 MI-35 helicopters. Russia also expressed interest in CPEC negating Modi’s claims to defy CPEC at any cost. One may remember that in January 2015, Modi launched a special cell lead by Ajit Kumar Doval to ensure that CPEC is never made functional with unlimited funds available to the cell. In 2015, Russia announced North-South Gas Pipeline. Afterward, the visit of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff in April 2018 also played a vital role in creating friendly relations between both countries. During the visit, Russian Army Chief General Oleg Salyukov in a meeting he appreciated the Pakistan army’s efforts for peace and said that the sacrifices of the Pakistan army have ensured peace in the region. He said that Pakistan is an important country in the region and the Russian Army’s strong friendship with the Pakistan army is inevitable.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa was accorded a guard-of-honour upon his arrival at the Kremlin Palace where he met the Russian Commander.

The reinforced military relations between both countries surfaced when Russian Newspaper Tass disclosed in August 2016 that soon Russian and Pakistan army will be conducting the joint exercise. This disclosure was made linked with the statement of the Russian Army Chief according to which the time and place for the 7 mutual exercises have been finalized. The exercises conducted in September 2016 were termed Druzhba-2016 (Friendship-2016). On 23 September 2016, when Russian troops arrived in Pakistan, Indian Defense analysts termed it as a big tragedy for India because of the staged drama of attack on Uri Brigade Headquarters on 18 September 2016 in which 29 Indian soldiers were killed; on the basis of this drama, Indian Foreign Ministry has requested Russia to cancel the joint exercises. Indian media started a storm in the teacup as soon as the news of Uri's attack was broke. This was the first time when the world ignored Indian propaganda and did not give any reaction. Indian left no stone unturned for the cancellation of Russia-Pakistan joint exercises. Moscow was requested to at least postpone the exercises but Russia rejected Indian requests. Indian opposition parties termed it a Pakistani victory against India. Indian public was demanding revenge. In order to cool down Hindu war mania, Indian staged the drama of the first surgical strike inside Pakistan. India claimed that Hindu Commandoes infiltrated Pakistan through Helicopters in the dark of the night and killed hundreds of terrorists inside Azad Kashmir and returned back without any loss. At the time Indians claimed their surgical strike, Russian troops were busy in exercise inside Pakistan. Indian lies of the surgical strike were negated by Russian media saying that Indian Aviation Helicopters are not capable of taking action at night; the Indian army and its commandoes are not capable of conducting any surgical strike in dense jungle.
Moscow: Chief of General staff Russian Armed forces General Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov in his meeting with General Qamar Javed Bajwa hails Pakistan army efforts for peace in Afghanistan.

After this, the Pak-Russia relations grew stronger day by day. Both countries have mutual interests in the region. Economic stability and development, peace in Afghanistan are needed by Pakistan and Russia alike.
Russia aims ‘long-term, multidimensional relations with Pakistan.

The 2 days visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Pakistan is also linked. This is being taken as a big breakthrough on the international level. India has been the biggest buyer of Russian weapons during the last seven decades. Indian has deals with Russia for the purchase of modern weapons until now. Despite this Russian relations with Pakistan are due to the Russian interests linked with Pakistan in the region. American nexus with India against Russian Ally China, the hurdles created by the West through India in the development of Asia are pointing towards the creation of a new block on the international level. In this block, Pakistan will have special importance which Pakistan has won through victory in the world’s most difficult war against Indian launched terrorism. Russian Foreign Minister has acknowledged Pakistan Army’s sacrifices and victory against terrorism. The time is not far when Russia and Pakistan will play a vital role in the development of the region…

Written by Khalid Baig,
Published in Daily Nawa-i-Waqt,
Date: 12 April 2021.

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