Working together: Pakistan, Russia vow to support Afghan peace initiative

Published: February 9, 2012
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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks with Hina Rabbani Khar during their meeting in Moscow. PHOTO: AFP

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks with Hina Rabbani Khar during their meeting in Moscow. PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW: Pakistan and Russia on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment and support to promote stability and peace in Afghanistan for ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ efforts for national reconciliation in the country.

During an official visit of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Russia from February 7 to 9, at the invitation of her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, the two sides expressed deep concerns about the threat of terrorism and drug-related crimes persisting in the region. Khar added that Pakistan had a clear policy to support any Afghan-driven peace initiative.

Khar, on behalf of President Zardari, invited the Russian president to attend the next quadrilateral summit meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Islamabad this year.

According to the foreign office, the two sides held in-depth discussions on a range of bilateral matters, as well as on important regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The two ministers reviewed the progress made on the understanding reached between the leadership of the two countries during President Asif Ali Zardari’s official visit to Moscow in May 2011 and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s meeting with his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Heads of Government meeting in November last year.

Taking note of the considerable progress made, both countries agreed that a large potential for enhancing bilateral cooperation still existed, particularly in trade, investment, energy and agriculture.

They also expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the meeting of the Joint Working Group on Energy Cooperation held in Moscow last year. The two sides discussed several concrete proposals including oil exploration, hydropower production/distribution and coal-based power generation projects.

Pakistan welcomed Russia’s willingness to participate in trans-regional energy projects namely, TAPI and CASA-1000. Pakistan also welcomed Russian interest in Thar coal exploration.

The ministers noted with satisfaction that substantial progress has been made towards finalising the proposed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Expansion and Modernisation of Pakistan Steel Mills, and hoped that other formalities, including financing of the project, will be finalised soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (33)

  • hammad
    Feb 8, 2012 - 5:11PM

    Good. I like that. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Making friends with powerful neighbours is the best policy, even if they are not next door.

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  • Zeee
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:26PM

    Right Work at right time ……….Pakistan need Russian support:)

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  • Falcon
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:30PM

    Decades of pro-US policy have landed us nowhere. I think this is a good step. We need to establish good relationships with all neighbors including India otherwise it will create unnecessary space for outsiders meddling in the region.

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  • Zahid Aslam
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:38PM

    @Falcon:
    Yeah I agree with u man……..We should established good relationship with neighbour countries inculding India, Afghan, and Central Asian State:)

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  • Chengez K
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:44PM

    We should ask Russian to stop NATO supply

    We should work together on how to get NATO out of Afghanistan before it drags both countries in its next war on Iran!!

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  • Nirmit
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:46PM

    @Zahid Aslam:
    what abt chechenya…..wht abt your support to anti russian elements…..do you think there is something left tp be discovered !!! Recommend

  • Someone
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:50PM

    This is Pakistani foreign policy: US, UK, China, Arabs, India, Afghanistan and full stop. More ‘commas’ are direly needed.

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  • Zeta
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:55PM

    I can see future bloc of Russia-China-Pakistan and probably Iran which will be very necessary for regional power and prevent the western imperialistic designs

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  • Majeed Hussein
    Feb 8, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Brilliant! We appreciate that Russia has defended Pakistan, the same way it has defended Iran! Thank God there a powerful country in the east as well, it keeps things more balanced!

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  • Feb 8, 2012 - 7:12PM

    Now they are moving in the right direction. Salams to Pakistan

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  • lobe
    Feb 8, 2012 - 7:21PM

    Every one knows she is just a show piece minister real power is somewhere else.

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  • Hu Jintao
    Feb 8, 2012 - 7:33PM

    China and now Russia, both are in our pocket

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  • Anjaan
    Feb 8, 2012 - 7:35PM

    Russians do not have a short memory, they have not forgotten Pakistan’s role against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    However had you Pakistanis may try, Russia will always treat Pakistan as an American trojan horse, and will never cross its own redline with pakistan.Recommend

  • Feb 8, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Russian and Chinese support for Pakistan is very important but what’s the secret behind these growing relations? Pakistan and Russia getting closer because http://707monty.blogspot.com/2011/11/russia-and-pakistan-getting-closer-why.html

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  • butt jee
    Feb 8, 2012 - 7:50PM

    We must get rid of American shackles and focus more attention on the countries in our neighbourhood.Recommend

  • A2Z
    Feb 8, 2012 - 7:55PM

    China and Russia helped us to build our own assets like Pakistan Steel Mill, Gawadar Port etc.
    Can anybody count the number of assets in which US helped us sincerely to bring a change in the economy and public sector? I think NRO is on the top of the list…

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  • yen
    Feb 8, 2012 - 8:15PM

    @A2Z:
    do some research on the effect of Chinese influence n pakistan economy

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  • Feb 8, 2012 - 8:16PM

    This is the step which Bhutto sahab was talking as a foreign minister. He tried to push Pakistan toward the Russian bloc rather than pushing forward to American bloc, which would not survive Pakistan’s expectations. Bhutto Sahab’s that step brought us in the Pak Steel. Khar is going well.

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  • Uza Syed
    Feb 8, 2012 - 10:17PM

    @Naveeda Shaikh: Good thing that Bhutto “Sahaab” did not succeed in this even if he tried which I suspect to be factually incorrect. After all it was the Russians who encouraged and backed the Indians to dismember Pakistan and it’s too recent for Bhutto to forgive them and forget what they did to hurt us and the very basis of our creation (the country for the Muslims of the united India). Two nation theory proved wrong and we are struggling with various disgruntled “nationalities” since then in what’s left of Pakistan (Baloch nationalism and so on).

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  • Cautious
    Feb 8, 2012 - 11:42PM

    @Zeta

    I can see future bloc of
    Russia-China-Pakistan and probably
    Iran which will be very necessary for
    regional power and prevent the western
    imperialistic designs

    Unless Pakistan does a better job of controlling Muslim extremist I suspect your more likely to see a coalition between India, Russia, China and the USA to contain Pakistani militants who are destabilizing the region.

    Recommend

  • Zeta
    Feb 9, 2012 - 12:08AM

    @Cautious:
    China wouldn’t even cosider any kind of defense partnership with india unless you release Arunachal Pradesh and solve other disputes. Russians knows that your india is fastly becoming a major US client state in the region and thus making your partnership with Russia somewhat salty.

    The question of “muslim extremism” isn’t major concern or barrier in any future developments of the parties mentioned i mentioned. Its only the indian and american obsessiveness with this thing. Extremism will itself sorted out in some years of training and development unlike your kind theory of unleashing war on terrorism.

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  • Reddy
    Feb 9, 2012 - 12:26AM

    except for Pakistan’s delusive mind, there is no news in this article to start with,as Putin mentioned there isn’t going to be any strategic partnership with pakistan in near future.Russians are more vindictive than yanks when you mess with them,FYI both Russia and India wanted to contain china By hook or by crook so which keeps them fairly in the US camp on Afghanistan.it’s better for pakistan to mend their relations with US first before they start anymore nonstarters.

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  • Dr Khan
    Feb 9, 2012 - 2:29AM

    Some amazing foreign policy analysts we have here. Unbelievably smart. First of all Pakistanis have not forgotten Russia’s strong role in the brealing off of east Pakistan, they have always favored Indian interests over Pakistan and Iranian interests over the rest of the region. What people also seem to have forgotten is the large public support for Afghanistan, and ill feelings for the oppression and cruelty russia has been putting surrounding republics through namely chechnya and dagestan. We the people refuse to compromise over innocent muslim bloodshed russia continues even til this day. Allah is sufficient for this nation.Recommend

  • Feb 9, 2012 - 3:26AM

    @A2Z:
    Can anybody count the number of assets in which US helped us sincerely to bring a change in the economy and public sector?

    Pakistani assets built with US money and help: Indus Basin project (most canals constructed until 1970s), Tarbela dam, Mangla dam, Guddu barrage, Pakistan’s green revolution (revamping and increasing agricultural productivity), a number of WAPDA power plants, International Irrigation Management Institute, numerous Pakistani highways (particularly in KP and Balochistan), …

    I could go on but the list is too long. You should do some research…

    Recommend

  • wasim
    Feb 9, 2012 - 1:02PM

    @Uza Syed:

    Nothing is permanent in International relations, Old foes can become new friends thats how nations grow. But seems like you are stuck in the past, you are still ruing the two nation theory, You should learn to move on and accept the change.

    Recommend

  • Indian
    Feb 9, 2012 - 2:53PM

    hahaha… why my pakistani brothers are so emotional over foreign relations :)) .

    china will not do this…russia should do this…usa is loosing….now wwiii…. :P

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  • JSM
    Feb 9, 2012 - 7:34PM

    Do GOP expect that Russians have forgotten that Pakistanis joined USA in chasing Russians out of Afganistan. Now they want Russia to join them in dealing with America in Afganistan. Some cheek!

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  • Pak Centcom
    Feb 9, 2012 - 8:34PM

    Russians are so hot. But it’s really cold in Russia. Point being, anomaly’s exist, even in international relations.

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  • Uza Syed
    Feb 9, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @wasim: It’s not the ‘two nation theory’ that’s of any consequence anymore, here you are threatened by split into many nations right here among us. I can’t imagine any great advantages of moving towards Russians at this stage when they themselves are dependant on the West for their continuity.

    Recommend

  • Pollack
    Feb 10, 2012 - 3:53AM

    Hmmm…I thought Pakistan was a leader of the islamic world and a fortress of Islam. Why are they working with Russia which murders Muslims whole sale in chechniya? Maybe Pakistan does not have any values at all and the “fortress of Islam” talk is all empty. On the Russian side, have they forgotten pakistans jihad against soviet union in Afghanistan? What this report outlines is that there is no shame or wrongs in international relationships. Anything and everything is allowed as long as it benefits the parties concerned.

    Recommend

  • Aftab kenneth Wilson
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:19AM

    Though late but not too late. Right step at right direction.

    Recommend

  • abdulazeez
    Feb 10, 2012 - 10:48AM

    @ zeta: “china wouldn’t even consider any kind of defence parntership with india unless you release Arunachal Pradesh and solve other disputes “……….dear zeta, chinese made J-7 is Russian Mig-21, J-11 is Sukhoi-27, even their ow designed J-10 and JF-17 using Russian Mikoyan (MIG) engine and avionics. their main frontline fighter plane is Russian Sukhoi-30.India have more advanced sukhoi-30MKI. we don’t need any chinese toys only pakistan could buy chinese crap.Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Right decision to look east. And I may say it will help to form a block of economic power in east. After all US is going down and down in all front.

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