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.