Pakistan-Russian ties: The grass roots approach

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Mehak Ameer

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

With bilateral relations between Russia and Pakistan gaining ground, Moscow has already opened up vistas in the relation through a well-settled Russian community living in Pakistan. This community is a sign of a whole lot of examples passing unnoticed, thereby advocating reliance on the radical measures introduced by the governments of the two countries only. This cooperation at grass roots level, involving individuals from both sides, truly complements the existing ties of the two countries in various fields.

This specific Russian community, many of them women, living in Pakistan for at least a decade, clearly manifests the readiness of these nationals to extend goodwill and mutual understanding amongst each other. In an attempt to dispel stereotypes across borders, the Russians have demonstrated open-mindedness without question for a long time, while embracing differences and respecting cultural diversity as well as perspectives of the Pakistanis. Indeed, both Russia and Pakistan are heading towards establishing sustainable ties that cannot be disregarded at all.

Furthermore, Russia’s approval of selling MI-35 helicopters to Pakistan in order to help combat terrorism in the region shows commitment to defeat this scourge and make Pakistan a peaceful country. Earlier in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin had also condemned the Quetta terrorist attack as a criminal and barbaric act that was aimed at destabilising the situation in Pakistan.

Lately, Moscow has also expressed interest in enhancing cooperation in the energy sector, and working on projects like Casa-1000, development of the Gwadar liquefying facility and construction of a pipeline between Gwadar and Nawabshah in order to take the relationship to a new level.

Besides this, the world’s largest country is actively involved in the process of accession of Pakistan to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as a full member, fostering improved ties of the two countries.

Moreover, the meeting of Pak-Russia Intergovernmental Commission scheduled to take place in Moscow, as well as the expected visit of Russian defence minister to Islamabad on the sale of defence equipment will definitely give new impetus to the bilateral relations of both the nations.

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