The Consul-General of Russian Federation in Karachi, Andrey V Demidov, has said that Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan and it is the responsibility of the government to resolve its ‘internal’ issues, not of any global superpower.
Demidov was speaking at a lecture organised by the University of Karachi’s Area Study Centre for Europe on ‘Russian Foreign Policy in the Emerging Global Order.’
When the consul general was asked about how Russia felt about Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s resolution in the US House of Representatives calling upon Pakistan to recognise the right of the people of Balochistan to self determination, he said: “We believe that Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan. It is for the government of Pakistan to resolve all internal problems there.”
He added that, sometimes, the US congress is ‘ungovernable.’ Regarding Russia’s interest in Balochistan, Demidov clarified that there was no Russian presence in the province.
Speaking on relations between Pakistan and Russia, he said “we have good prospects with Pakistan. We want to work very closely with Pakistan.” He reminded the audience that an invitation had been extended to the Russian President Putin to visit the country, which was accepted.
He stressed that there were a number of areas where the two countries can work with each other apart from cooperation in the war on terror, especially when it came to the energy sector. “Russia is the number one energy supplier in the world” that could help Pakistan in the energy crisis it faces today.
“But [all of this] depends on mutual political will,” he added.
Speaking on Afghanistan and the imminent pull out of US coalition troops within two years, Demidov said the all the goals the US had set out to achieve remain unfulfilled.
“The infrastructure of terror there still exists. Al Qaeda and the Taliban still exist. The government there too remains incapable of leading its people,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.
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