ISLAMABAD: Russia has honoured renowned Pakistani economist Dr Shahid Hassan with a special award in recognition of his contribution towards betterment of friendly relations between the two countries.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov conferred the award on Dr Hassan on behalf of his government in a ceremony hosted by the Association of Pakistani Graduates from Russia & CIS in Islamabad on Sunday.

Russian ambassador Alexey Yourivich Dedov was the chief guest while the National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua was the guest of honour at the event.

A large number of senior diplomats of the Russian embassy, businessmen, senior civil and retired military officials also attended the ceremony.

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In his remarks, the Russian Ambassador appreciated the efforts of Dr Hassan for promoting friendly relations between Pakistan and Russia.

He shed light on Dr Hassan’s tremendous contribution for strengthening and promoting economic, cultural and friendly relations between the two countries.

Janjua also appreciated the wonderful contribution of Dr Hassan in promoting friendly relations which gave opportunity to both countries to collaborate in many areas.

Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) president Zahid Latif Khan highlighted the importance of a close relationship between Russia and Pakistan.

He said there is a need to further capitalise on the bilateral relations by exploring mutually beneficial avenues for bilateral cooperation.

Russia is one of the reliable supporters of Pakistan and both the countries have been enjoying friendly and cordial relationship and understanding on all the major global and regional issues, he added.

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Khan stressed the need for making more efforts to explore potential to raise the current trade volume and increase people to people contact.

Zahid Lateef also emphasised on re-designing existing trade strategies to have a wider and pragmatic cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries.

A renowned businessman working with Russia, Mohsin Sheikh, revealed the history of friendship with Dr Shahid which spanned over several years and appreciated his efforts for promoting economic relations between the two countries.

General Secretary of the Association of Pakistani Graduates from Russia & CIS Engr Iftikhar Ali shared a brief account of the life of Dr Hassan, who from his student life was a very active member of the Pakistani Soviet society “Lyallpur” and remained President of the Pakistan Student Union in Moscow.

Dr  Hassan, in his remarks thanked the Russian government for honouring him with the prestigious award.