Russia pats Pak, says it is trying to curb terror
Ties With India Second To None: Envoy
New Delhi: Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev on Monday said Pakistan had taken “serious measures” to tackle terror financing, in remarks that are at serious variance with India’s position.
In a sign of changing geopolitical equations, Russia’s stance on a number of issues are now more closely aligned to Pakistan’s than India’s, which is important considering India and Russia have been close partners for at least half a century.
Describing Pakistan as a “historic and important regional partner” for Russia, Kudashev said, “These ties are not emanating from the regional balance of power equations, but growing on their own merits. They got new impetus since Islamabad has become an SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) memberstate, and it is in the interest of regional stability to help Pakistanis as well as Indians to effectively adjust themselves to the new forms of cooperation offered by the SCO and to enhance their anti-terrorism capacity. Importantly, we don’t look at the situation in the region from the point of view of bilateral disputes, which we are not in a position to interfere or take sides.” He was speaking at a programme by the Ananta Aspen Centre on India-Russia relations.
Russia was one of the few countries to support Pakistan at the FATF meeting where India, US and China finally made a deal on placing Pakistan on the grey list. The India-Russia relationship, while fairly solid, has been tested recently largely due to Russia getting uncomfortably close to China, and, by extension, Pakistan. India, for its part, has become much closer to the US.
Kudashev, however, said it would not be correct to say Russia was getting closer to Pakistan as Moscow's relations with New Delhi “are unique and second to no one.”
Responding to a question on whether Russia saw Pakistan as a reliable partner to address its interests in Afghanistan, the envoy said Pakistan’s integrity was growing.
“Credit (must) be given to Islamabad. After this country joined the SCO, it started taking serious measures to curb the financing of terror... The integrity of Pakistan is growing and there is no reason to deny its wish, its desire to be part of regional and global efforts to fight terror,” Kudashev said.
He said the problems in Afghanistan would be impossible to solve without taking on board every neighbouring country. He said after the Islamic State was defeated, it spread its influence in Afghanistan and Central Asian states.