Pak­istan and Rus­sia: Dy­nam­ics of Re­la­tions

The Diplomatic Insight - - Pakistane- Druucssaitaio Rnelations - *Muhammad Asif Noor

Six decades of Pak­istan and Rus­sia re­la­tions have ob­served var­i­ous bumps and bruises but still both coun­tries, out of odds, man­aged to de­velop a con­ge­nial­ity of re­la­tions af­ter the dawn of 21st cen­tury and tu­mul­tuous events of 9/11. In the con­tem­po­rary mul­ti­po­lar in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal sys­tem where sev­eral world or­ders are con­tend­ing to each other, Pak­istan needs to re­vamp and reach out to im­prove and en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with friendly coun­tries like Rus­sia. Nev­er­the­less Pak­istan's pres­ence and ac­tive al­liance with western world or­der, re­la­tions with Soviet Union and later Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion re­mained in luke warm wa­ters. Af­ter over these years now both states have re­al­ized that the prism of dis­trust through which view of each other was murky, must be re­moved. Pak­istan and Rus­sia needs to for­ward their steps by tak­ing a small leap in the di­rec­tion to cover the jour­ney of thou­sand miles. Rus­sia and Pak­istan ex­tended hands of co­op­er­a­tion in the field of ed­u­ca­tion, en­ergy, trade, counter ter­ror­ism and counter nar­cotics. Both the coun­tries have mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and shared ob­jec­tive of peace and har­mony in the re­gion with de­vel­op­ment. Over the course of re­la­tions both states ex­changes vis­its of high­est level. It is the need of the time that Pak­istan must take an earnest and ea­ger ef­fort to im­prove re­la­tions with Rus­sia. At the very in­cep­tion of Pak­istan, mangers and ex­ecu­tors of the for­eign pol­icy were lib­er­al­ism driven and had western tilt that re­sulted into the diver­sion of us to­ward West and US. This western ide­o­log­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion was one of few more rea­son of tilt­ing to­wards the west. If we look at his­tory of re­la­tions es­tab­lished diplo­mat­i­cally in 1948 but Pak­istan didn't even have en­voy to Soviet Cap­i­tal till 1949. Soon af­ter, the in­vi­ta­tion from Rus­sia was ig­nored as a re­sult of this western minded elite and the then Prime Min­is­ter moved to Washington for his first of­fi­cial visit. Few years later, the much ex­pected visit to Soviet Union was an­nounced in 1949 that Li­quat Ali Khan would visit in May 1950. It was de­layed to an ex­tent that a lot­wa­ter of mis­trust had been flowed un­der. This set the re­la­tions to a progress in a very cold en­vi­ron­ment till the time USSR dis­in­te­grated and Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion emerged. Over the decades, the re­la­tions be­tween both the coun­tries lacked depth and di­men­sion even hav­ing the strong pos­si­bil­i­ties of co­op­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Dur­ing the decade of Soviet in­va­sion, the re­la­tions went to their low­est ebb and were at their worst stage ever in the his­tory of con­nec­tion. The U2 in­ci­dent fur­ther ag­gra­vated the re­la­tions. It was mainly be­cause of Soviet in­volve­ment in in­ter­nal mat­ters of Afghanistan and Indo-soviet al­liance, which Pak­istan looked at it through sus­pi­cion. Ex­change of high level visit be­gan as far as in 1956 when First Deputy Chair­man of the USSR Coun­cil of Min­is­ters Anastas I. Mikoyan paid an of­fi­cial visit to Pak­istan. The decade of 50s was marked by sev­eral agree­ments that were signed by both states ap­prov­ing on co­op­er­a­tion on eco­nomic field. In 60s, Pres­i­dent Ay­oub vis­ited Rus­sia and met with the then Soviet Prime Min­is­ter of Rus­si­aalexei Kosy­gin. Both ex­changed and ex­tended hands of co­op­er­a­tion and in eco­nomic and de­fence fields. These vis­its were made to bring the two states to­gether and closer for more co­op­er­a­tion. Dur­ing the decade of 60s Pak­istan and Rus­sia, foes of Cold war, en­hanced their co­op­er­a­tion and as Pak­istan was look­ing for more op­tions in the in­ter­na­tional sys­tem for sup­port in de­fence and strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion and Rus­sia was a bet­ter op­tion. The high­light of the decade was Indo-pak war in 65 where Rus­sia pro­vided its good of­fices to end the hos­til­ity be­tween the two. Tashkent Dec­la­ra­tion can be called as a ma­jor land­mark in the re­la­tions. Many an­a­lyst like a well known Amer­i­can Scholar Hafeez Ma­lik termed the decade of 60s as when both coun­tries en­joyed “emer­gence of re­al­is­tic re­la­tion­ship”. The tu­mul­tuous decade of 70s be­gan­with an of­fi­cial visit of the then Prime Min­is­ter of Pak­istan, Zul­fiqar Ali Bhutto in 1972 and later in 1974. While later the for­ma­tion of Bangladesh in 1971, Pak­istan faced a set­back but dur­ing that time Rus­sia and Pak­istan co­op­er­ated in var­i­ous projects of mu­tual in­ter­est and co­op­er­a­tion. Like for in­stance Rus­sia ex­tended

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