Rus­sia pats Pak, says it is try­ing to curb ter­ror

Ties With In­dia Sec­ond To None: En­voy

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

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.

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