In what seems an indication of growing military ties between Russia and Pakistan, the former has expressed its willingness on Wednesday to supply its military weapons to the latter for anti-terrorism purposes, reported Dawn
In what seems an indication of growing military ties between Russia and Pakistan, the former has expressed its willingness on Wednesday to supply its military weapons to the latter for anti-terrorism purposes, reported Dawn.
“Russia stands ready to improve Pakistan’s anti-terrorism potential by supplying it with special military equipment. This serves the interests of all in the region,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is on a two-day visit to Pakistan.
Lavrov met with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Wednesday in Islamabad. Foreign ministers of both countries also held delegation-level discussions covering defense and security relations, trade and economic ties, and also regional security scenarios.
“We also agreed that we need to conduct more exercises and drills in the mountains along with maritime excises as well in the Arabian (sea) soon,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
On the regional security situation, the two countries also discussed Afghanistan. Lavrov said both countries were concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, especially about the rise of Islamic States (IS). Qureshi, on the other hand, said, “Pakistan will continue its sincere efforts for peace in Afghanistan.”
Significantly, during the 80s and 90s, both countries were on opposite sides of the Afghan war. Thirty years on, in a changing strategic environment, both Pakistan and Russia share at least one common goal in Afghanistan: seeing the US and the NATO troops out of Afghanistan.
Calling the visit--first in the nine years-- significant, Qureshi said, “Russia will play a role in bringing peace in the region.”
Qureshi also raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during his meeting with Lavrov. Significantly, just a month back, Pakistan and India had released a joint statement, calling for the strict observance of the 2003 ceasefire understanding along the border.
Reacting to the recent development between India and Pakistan, Lavrov said, “Russia welcomes talks between India and Pakistan.”
The steam gas pipeline project, which Pakistan is building in partnership with Russia, was also discussed. The two countries, in 2015, had signed an agreement for the same. Pakistan expressed its commitment to start the construction.
“I am satisfied by the fact that mutual trade has increased by 46% and hit a record $790 million. We both agree that this is not the limit and (promise to) further develop our economic relations,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune during a joint presser on Wednesday.