Islamabad and Moscow agree to boost ties

News Desk:

Pakistan and Russian have agreed to boost bilateral ties with regard to fighting terrorism. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held meetings with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, on Wednesday.

It comes as Moscow seeks to increase its stature in the region, particularly in Afghanistan, where it has sought to inject itself as a key player in accelerated efforts to find a peaceful end to decades of war.

“We stand ready to strengthen the anti-terrorist potential of Pakistan, including by supplying Pakistan with special military equipment,” Lavrov said, without going into detail about the equipment. He added that an agreement was also reached on conducting additional joint military exercises such as the Arabian Monsoon maritime drill.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan had “looked at our cooperation in defence and counterterrorism and we feel that we have within our framework of dialogue [involving] strategic stability and counterterrorism opportunities of interaction and we feel we can help each other”.

“I am grateful to the foreign minister that he has acknowledged the progress Pakistan has made in defeating and reversing terrorism and extremism and they’re more than happy to further build our capacity on that.”

As Washington reviews an agreement it signed more than a year ago with the Taliban and rethinks a May 1 withdrawal of its soldiers, Moscow has stepped up its involvement in Afghanistan, emerging as a significant player. Last month it hosted talks between the Taliban and senior government officials and Lavrov suggested another high-level meeting could again be held in Moscow.

Lavrov arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday from India, with whom Moscow has had a long and solid relationship. The apparent reset in Pakistani-Russian relations however is, by contrast, a recent phenomenon.

Russia is also building a gas pipeline between Karachi and Lahore. Qureshi said Pakistan also wanted Russian expertise to modernise the country’s railway system as well as its energy sector.

Lavrov said Moscow had offered delivery of liquified natural gas to Pakistan through Russian companies Gazprom and Novatek. “Russia’s Rosatom and Pakistan’s Nuclear Energy Commission were in touch for cooperation for use of technology for medicine and industry,” he said.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.