Rus­sia wants to in­ten­sify and widen re­la­tions with Pak­istan


DE­VEL­OP­MENTS of the last two years when Rus­sia and Pak­istan, for­get­ting their decades of bit­ter­ness, pre­ferred a path of new and pro­duc­tive re­la­tion­ship, and opened new vis­tas of op­por­tu­ni­ties with the nexus be­tween China and Rus­sia try­ing to be de­fender of the East, is all a happy au­gury for the re­gion. Such a fresh­ness and de­sire to build new bridges was vividly ev­i­dent at the Rus­sian Na­tional Day cel­e­bra­tion, hosted by the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion Con­sul Gen­eral Oleg Avedeev at a lo­cal ho­tel Wedne­day evening. The oc­ca­sion saw a re­mark­ably big turn out, and the in­ter­mix­ing of guests from dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties, classes and seg­ments, es­pe­cially among Rus­sians and Pak­ista­nis, was in­deed wel­come. This was ar­tic­u­lated fur­ther by Oleg in his speech, who had ear­lier, along with his key of­fi­cers like An­drey Fe­dorov, and sev­eral oth­ers, ex­tended a warm wel­come to in­vi­tees at the en­try point, and then took great care dur­ing the over two hours the func­tion lasted. “It makes me re­ally happy that we cel­e­brate the day in an at­mos­phere which is favourable to in­creas­ing to in­ten­sity and widen the scope of re­la­tion­ship with Pak­istan” his words were self as­sur­ing.

High­light­ing the de­vel­op­ments of re­cent times, Oleg pointed out that the pe­riod sincesince the last June(now com­plet­ing a year), was “very pro­duc­tive on many counts”. He went on to re­call Nawaz Sharif’s meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin at Uffa dur­ing the Shang­hai Co­op­er­a­tion coun­cil meet­ing (of which Pak­istan is about to be­come a reg­u­lar mem­ber).

That meet­ing in­stilled a sense of pur­pose and di­rec­tion into bi­lat­eral en­gage­ment. This led to tan­gi­ble ad­vances I eco­nomic sphere. The sign­ing of two bil­lion dol­lar con­tract for con­struct­ing North-South LNG pipe­line from Karachi to La­hore with Rus­sian as­sis­tance is go­ing to be a big step to­wards Pak­istan’s self suf­fi­ciency in en­ergy.

The prospect of widen­ing the scope of bi­lat­eral trade be­came much more dis­tinct af­ter the Rus­sian-Pak­istan In­vest­ment Fo­rum and the 4th ses­sion of the Bi­lat­eral Com­mis­sion on trade and econ­omy,science and tech­nol­ogy, which took place in Is­lam­abad last Novem­ber. Like­wise, the visit to Rus­sia by a del­e­ga­tion of Pak­istani busi­ness­men un­der the lead­er­ship of Trade De­vel­op­ment Author­ity chief S M Muneer to Tatarstan and Bashko­r­tostan, two in­dus­tri­ally de­vel­oped re­gions of Rus­sia, which promised to open new vis­tas of op­por­tu­ni­ties for greater trade.

He also re­ferred as “quite use­ful” a visit to Karachi of a busi­ness con­tin­gent spon­sored by Pak-Rus­sian Busi­ness Coun­cil and had fruit­ful in­ter-action. Po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue be­tween the two coun­tries go be­yond the tra­di­tional spheres of trade and econ­omy. Such a di­a­logue has now be­come a reg­u­lar fea­ture. Anti-nar­cotic agen­cies and Navies of the two coun­tries also en­hanced their co­op­er­a­tion, he said

The Sindh As­sem­bly speaker Agha Si­ra­jud­din re­cip­ro­cated the sen­ti­ments with as­sur­ances that Pak­istan wel­comed Rus­sian friend­ship, ini­ti­ated by PPP leader late Z A Bhuto as for­eign min­is­ter of the coun­try, and later as its head of State and head of govern­ment.

A galaxy of peo­ple were present there to share the hap­pi­ness and plea­sure of the Rus­sian hosts. They in­cluded the con­suls gen­eral of United States, Iran, Turkey, In­done­sia, Sri Lanka, Repub­lic of Korea, Peoples Repub­lic of China, Fed­eral Repub­lic of Ger­many, France, Brian Heath, Me­hdi Sob­hani, Hadi San­toso Herath,Kim Donggi, Ma You, Rainer Sch­mied­chien, Fran­coise Do Lar­roso, ther num­ber two at the UK deputy com­mis­sion here Steve Cross­man.

VIPs list in­cluded the Navy Flotilla chief Vice Admiral Ari­ful­lah Hus­saini, Sindh se­nior min­is­ter Nisra Khuhro, cul­tural min­is­ter Sharmila Fa­rooqui, Byram Avari who is also hon­orary con­sul of Canada, An­wer Sualeh Mo­ham­m­mad, for­mer Pak­istan High com­mis­sioner in UK, Kader Jaf­fer, for­mer am­bas­sador Zia Is­pa­hani, Kalim Fa­rooqui, Nadeem Kazmi, En­gro chief Wa­jid Junejo etc. Jam Karam Ali, Nawabzada Jam Farouk Ali, and many more.

Af­ter na­tional an­thems of the two coun­tries were played a cake to mark was oc­ca­sion was also cut, and guests were feted to sump­tu­ous dinner. The oc­ca­sion was in­deed me­morable.

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