After getting rapped by India and the US for harbouring terror safe havens on its territory, Pakistan is trying to woo former Cold War foe Russia. To warm-up Islamabad-Moscow bilateral ties, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa will be visiting Russia in the first week of next month, reports Pakistan Today.
According to the report, this will be the first visit of General Bajwa as the chief of Pakistan Army to Russia. Nafees Zakaria, Foreign Office spokesperson of Pakistan said that high-level exchanges between Moscow and Islamabad in the past few years have “set the stage for translating political goodwill into a substantial partnership in particular, in the field of defence.”
Last year, Pakistan and Russia had held joint military exercises in September-October.
Pakistan’s bid to woo Russia comes close on the heels of it getting exposed by “all-weather ally” the United States and India for harbouring terrorists on its territory. While announcing his new Afghanistan policy, Trump had put Pakistan on notice for harbouring terror safe haven.
“For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict. And that could happen,” Trump had said. Trump’s statement had come as a shock for Pakistan as it was never directly attacked for harbouring terrorists by a top US leader.
According to Pakistan Today, the Moscow-Islamabad ties started warming up around five years ago. Russia is also participating in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Before Bajwa, former Army Chief Raheel Sharif had also visited Russia in 2015.
The report claims that with the backing of Russian delegation along with China, the joint communique of BRICS Summit in Goa last year did not target Pakistan. “Though India made utmost efforts to single out Pakistan in its resolution, Russian diplomats made sure that the communique was not targeted at a single country,” it said,
However, this year’s BRICS Resolution embarrassed Islamabad by condemning Pakistan-based terror groups.
On Thursday, India exposed Pakistan’s lies on terror at the UN. “In its short history, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror. The quest for a land of pure has actually produced ‘the land of pure terror’. Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’, with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism,” India said while excercising its right to reply ti Pakistan’s statements.
“Its current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, a leader of the United nations designated terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, is now sought to be legitimised as a leader of a political party,” India added.