Revitalization of Pakistan-Russia Relations
he Asian region has great political, military, economic and geostrategic implications for the rest of the world. Contemporary international order, generally after the cold war and especially in past few years in the South Asian continent. Transformation of power in Southern, Eastern and Northern parts of Asia an embodiment of new power structures on the globe. The rapid emergence of geo-strategic relations in South Asia has affected ties between old friends and foes. Pakistan-Russia relations have remained over-shadowed by Pak-US union for most part of the history. Pakistan-Russia relations had some positive and much trumpeted negative. Many opportunities to thaw the strained relations were missed either due to Pakistan’s pro-western stance or suspicions on Russian-Indian alliance. However, in the post 9/11 period, Pakistan as a frontline state in the war against terror and Russian regional resurgence, is offer an opportunity for revitalization of relations. Vladimir Putin has been Russia’s and Russia under him is reasserting its role in its immediate sphere of close ties with India and over the past decade, relations grew with increased diplomatic engagement. Pakistan and Russia, are now improving bilateral relations for promotion of their mutual interests in the region. Russia, China and Pakistan are now to be the game changers in 21st century. Russia offers new avenues for strategic and economic partnership for Pakistan. Both have many points of convergence. While Pakistan needs Russian investment for reviving its economy, Russia is also eyeing Pakistan as a good destination for its investments and trade. There are strategic as well as economic opportunities available to both the countries in this era of economic and regional blocs. Both countries decision makers have avenues for cooperation especially in the post-US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pakistan is anxious to maintain its importance as a key player in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, India-US relations could be a challenging factor in Pakistan-Russia relationship, but both countries are determined to better their relationship despite constraints that are manageable. New beginnings in Pakistan-Russia relations would primarily depend on the priorities of their decision makers.
Pakistan-Russia relations have been marred by historical missteps. The historical legacy of Pakistan-Russia relations has been an interesting pattern of blow hot and blow cold. Pakistan interrupted its relation with Russia since 1947 through an India-Centric Prism. The ‘great game’ being played between Britain and Russia dates back Indian subcontinent has contacts with the Soviet Union since the times of Bolshevik Revolution of the October 1918. There were ups and downs in the relationship between Pakistan International politics of the ‘Cold war’ period. During the cold war, Pakistan’s inclination towards the capitalist’s bloc led by the United States and New Delhi’s friendship with Moscow were limiting factors. India successfully alienated Pakistan from Russia and also kept ties with the US. As a result, India received military as well as economic aid from both eastern and western blocs. India is the largest recipient of Russian military equipment. Pakistan became a US ally after its independence and signed bilateral economic and military cooperation pacts with the west. Pakistan is an ally and guardian of US interests in the region. Meanwhile, Soviet invasion in Afghanistan in 1979 was a turning point in global politics. The wobbly Pakistan-Russia ties added to the mutual mistrust. Pakistan’s alignment with the western bloc, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and a complicated relationship throughout the cold war era. Diplomatic and mutual cooperation on different political, economic, discussed during the exchange of visits by signatories from both sides after December 1991.Bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Russia in the technology has emerged. The Kremlin has grown careful lately in relation to India’s augmenting security cooperation with the United States and other Western nations. Russian aspiration for an elevation of mutual harmony and collaboration was a diversion from USSR’s previous policies. Russian government acknowledges Pakistan role for peace and stability in Asia, especially South and Central Asia. Pakistan also recognized Russian emerging economic and military giant. Fears of religious extremism in Central Asia and Afghanistan combined with disillusionment about the roles of India and the U.S in South Asia could push Russia and Pakistan closer together. Contemporary trend of heightened diplomatic relations boosted in 2014 when Russian government divulged from the arms and military hardware embargo against Pakistan. Moscow helicopters to Islamabad, in 2015. Following the results of the talks held before on helicopters, which Pakistan would like to get from Russia, a draft agreement on the release of four MI35M gunships has been sent to the Pakistani side. Pakistan seeks direct Russian investment and technological cooperation, particularly in the nuclear energy sector. Moscow’s state-owned nuclear energy company Rosa Tam