Beneath the radar, a Russia-Pakistan entente takes shape

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by Cheetah786, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Cheetah786

    Cheetah786 PDF VETERAN

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    One of the early calls that Vladimir Putin took following his expected victory in the Russian presidential election last weekend was from Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. He congratulated Putin on his success and invited him to visit Islamabad in September which the Russian leader accepted, according to newspaper reports citing an official statement.

    It would be the first visit by a Russian head of state to Pakistan which stood on the other side of the Cold War, peaking in its emergence as the staging ground for the U.S. campaign to defeat the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan. It’s now again the frontline state in America’s war against Islamist militants in Afghanistan, but it is a far more conflicted partner than those days of war against the godless communists. So fraught and uncertain is the nature of the relationship with the United States that Pakistan has sought to deepen ties with long-time ally China, but also Russia, the other great power in a dangerously unstable neighbourhood.

    Last year Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari made the first official visit to Russia by a Pakistani head of state in 37 years after Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s trip to Moscow. The visit capped a series of exchanges including on the sidelines of a four-way summit that Russia has promoted involving Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, besides Moscow, to discuss regional security. Zardari and outgoing President Dmitri Medvedev have met six times in the past three years, according to a count by an Indian security affairs expert, and last month Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was in Moscow negotiating an agreement to guide futue ties including Russian investment in the Pakistani economy.

    There is always a risk of reading too much into bilateral exchanges that you would expect between two major countries, both nuclear powers with shared interests in the region. Visits alone don’t transform ties, and especially ones with a troubled history behind them. And then there is India to be factored in, both for Russia and Pakistan. Moscow has long stood in India’s corner from the days of the Cold War to its role as a top weapons supplier to the Indian military, still ahead of the Israelis fast clawing their way into one of the world’s most lucrative arms markets.A nuclear-powered submarine has just sailed from Russia to be inducted into the Indian navy - a force-multiplier in the military with the sub’s ability to stay beneath waters long and deep and far from home.

    And while Islamabad and Moscow are planning a first visit this year, India and Moscow have long held summits each year alternating in the two capitals. Indeed the Hindu quoted Putin as saying last month that Russia was engaging India “full thrust” when a questioner said Russia must engage powers such as India, China and Iran to advance its interests.

    But the stepped up Russia-Pakistan diplomacy suggests a thawing of ties at the very least. And at another level, by raising the quality and quantity of these exchanges, is Russia signalling it will pursue a multi-vectored policy in a fast changing South Asia ? Tanvir Ahmad Khan, a former Pakistani foreign secretary who was also once the country’s ambassador to Moscow, says the two countries are on the verge of ending a “long history of estrangement” and that two factors have led to this landmark development. One is that there is now a national consensus in Pakistan to engage Russia earnestly. And two, “Vladimir Putin’s Russia has read the regional and global scene afresh and recognised Pakistan role as a factor of peace and stability.”

    Both Pakistan and India, the two big actors in South Asia, look a lot different today. Pakistan’s ties with the United States have soured so much that it can longer be considered be an ally, ready to do its bidding as in the proxy war against the Red Army in Afghanistan. And India’s ties with the United States, on the other hand, have been transformed, with Washington virtually legitimising it as the world’s sixth nuclear weapon state, something that even Russia never went as far to support during all the years as close allies.

    And if India and the United States are holding ever so advanced joint military exercises (there is one going on now in the Rajasthan desert which has a border with Pakistan) and considering multi-billion dollar defence deals as part of a new booming strategic relationship, Russia and Pakistan are also looking at launching military exchanges. Last year the commander of the Russian ground forces , Col-Gen Alexander Postinov, was in Pakistan and according to Pakistani newspapers discussed with Army Chief Genera Ashfaq Parvez Kayani the possibility of expanding defence ties by holding joint military exercises, exchanging trainees and trainers and selling and buying weapons, although it seems these were to be confined to counter-terrorism equipment.

    It’s not clear whether the two sides have followed up on those decisions but the 50 JF-17 Thunder fghter planes that China is supplying to Pakistan use a Russian engine, and it’s likely that Russia gave the green signal for China to go ahead. New Delhi was probably not impressed, but it has kept its silence.

    On a broader front, during Pakistan Foreign Minister Khar’s visit last month, Russia indicated its willingness to get involved in the 1,640 km TAPI project bringing piped gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and into energy-starved Pakistan and India, a project that has been hanging fire for years. Russian investors were also interested in the Thar coal project which involves developing a large energy complex in Sindh province to produce 6,000 MW of coal-based power and introduce to the country the concept of gasification and production of liquid fuel from coal.

    Former ambassador Khan says there is now a basic strategic understanding between the two countries on where to take ties. “If the relationship was clouded by perpetual mistrust, there is now a chance for this dark cloud to lift.”

    Beneath the radar, a Russia-Pakistan entente takes shape | Pakistan: Now or Never?
     
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  2. Arsalan

    Arsalan PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Pakistan, Russia to boost trade, energy ties
    MOSCOW: Pakistan and Russia Wednesday agreed to promote and enhance bilateral relations in diverse fields including trade, energy and people-to-people contacts.
    Addressing a joint press conference along with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said there was scope for cooperation between the two countries in different areas and all aspects for improving cooperation had been discussed during the meeting of the two foreign ministers.
    Foreign Minister Khar is visiting the Russian Federation on the invitation of her Russian counterpart Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov from February 7 to 10. She held in-depth talks with Lavrov on expanding and diversifying Pakistan-Russia relations. The two foreign ministers exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest besides increasing cooperation in energy, infrastructure development, agriculture, science and technology.
    Replying to a question on Afghanistan, Khar said Pakistan has a clear policy that it will extend full help and cooperation to any Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-driven peace initiative as it is the only long lasting solution to the problem. She said Pakistan has repeatedly said there should be a political solution to Afghan problem for durable pace in the region.
    The foreign minister said TAPI and KASA 1000 energy projects were also discussed during the meeting. She said Pakistan also got a very encouraging response from Russia for more investment in Pakistan Steel Mills.
    She said both countries also agreed to enhance parliamentary interaction besides increasing cooperation at the level of foreign ministries of the two countries. Khar said it was agreed that there would be more interaction between the chambers of commerce and industries of the two countries to improve trade activities. The foreign minister said Russian investors have also shown interest in investing in different energy projects like Thar Coal. Regarding cooperation in the energy sector, she said, “We are looking forward for the energy group which will be meeting within the first half of this year.”
    Talking about the regional level of cooperation, the foreign minister said the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was an exceptionally important forum in the region to face and counter regional challenges. She said Pakistan was actively participating in the deliberations of SCO and seeking permanent membership and thanked the Russian Federation extending its support on this issue.
    The foreign minister said the next quadrilateral summit being held in Pakistan was also discussed during the meeting with her Russian counterpart and added “Pakistan is looking forward to host this summit.” Khair said she had extended invitation to the Russian leadership on behalf of Presiddent Asif Ali Zardari for this quadrilateral summit.
    She said the visit of President Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to the Russian Federation and their meetings with Russian leaders had improved bilateral ties and indicated that Pakistan gives importance to its relations with Russia.
    Addressing the joint press conference Lavrov said both countries also agreed to cooperate in fighting terrorism and drug crimes. He said, “We have a good future in implementation of major transnational energy projects at the border between the Central Asian and South Asian regions. In our international cooperation we pay special attention to the issues of terrorism and drug crimes.”
    He said soon, the federal service representative of Russia on the control of drug substances would start working in Islamabad. On the issue of promotion of trade relations, Lavrov said the Pakistani side received Russia’s draft of a joint action plan in trade and investments. “We discussed cooperation in the framework of the SCO, the Dushanbe quartet and the UN Security Council, as Pakistan is the Security Council’s permanent member for 2012-2013,” Lavrov said. He said, “We share approaches to major international problems, principles, on the basis of which it is necessary to settle emerging problems.”
     
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  3. Arsalan

    Arsalan PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Pakistan must try and strengthen there relations with Russian. it is high time to do so.
    with the fast growing relation between India and Russia and Pakistan US relation getting Sore, its the right time to develop good economic and defense relations with russia.

    many Indian will come here and say that despite growing relations between India and US, india is still involved with Russia in some multi billion dollar deals including Su-30 MKI, air craft carries and nuclear submarines. despite this fact, the newly discovered friendship betwwen India and US is not something that will go unnoticed in Moscow.

    it is not that Pakistan can over noght become a determining factor in Russis relation with India but now, the Indian influence in Pak Russia relations can be delat with with comparative ease. although, India, with all the lucurative arms import deals is a big market for any exporter but one thing that is often neglected in that China and Pakistan jointly can offer twice as big a market as the indians. this desicive factor was seen in the deal of jet engines for JFT, that, despite all the efforts of new dehli, was supported and executed by Russia. although China is rapidly moving to self reliance in this department and Russia might lose quite some amount in exports to China but even now, there are lots of options of defence cooperation and deal open for all.

    i seriously wish that our foreign office will use the current global situation wisely and bring Russia and Pakistan closer.
    we may start with trade ties and economic relations strengthening with russina investment in different projects in Pakistan, providing Russia with a friendly and attarctive warm water port access for all around the year open sea trade and then we can slowly and gradually move on to defense cooperation.
     
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  4. lem34

    lem34 MEMBER

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    To be honest its not really under the radar. Even on this forum it's being discussed a lot before.

    1. Both Russia and Pakistan have animosity towards American policies.

    2. Russia is moving closer to Chinese and they are most important ally.

    3. Pakistan's strategic location means that China Russia Iran's interests converge. Think about it with Iran on board 50% of the world's gas is in their hands.
     
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  5. VelocuR

    VelocuR SENIOR MEMBER

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    I don't think Russia will eagerly bring closer to Pakistan as they haven't forget the past bitter memories with Pakistan during Afghans wars old days.

    Russia pleased it is Pakistan who give up their relationship with US and come to Russia for help, that's funny. Pakistan doesn't have luxury strong economy that's impossible to purchase Russian defence equipments which is very high costs and repair maintenances.

    Please note: Russia will not dump India because India will bring alot of benefits economic power needed to Russia. ;)
     
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  6. lem34

    lem34 MEMBER

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    I completely disagree with you. Its about converging interests.
     
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  7. TOPGUN

    TOPGUN PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Pakistan & Russia need to come togehter this is awsome news .
     
  8. Hulk

    Hulk ELITE MEMBER

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    Good for Pakistan, finally they are realizing that it is not bad have relationship with all nations. I see them moving towards positive foreign policy.
     
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  9. VelocuR

    VelocuR SENIOR MEMBER

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    I understood converging interests. BRIC economic powers, let me stand---BRussiaIndiaC. They are in the same groups, which anger the US due to change currency and cooperation.

    Russia must be angry at India for their netural policy but they will not break with it. Almost thirty years relations with India and many defence cooperation with excellent people to people relationship, India haven't forgetting the lesson the day Russia came to rescue them from US attacks.

    Russia support SCO membership to Pakistan because Pakistan itself give up their relationship with US and run to Russia for help (see how many Pakistani FM flights to Russia last five years). It is Pakistan who decide to change clothes in switch positions and new interests after US/Pakisatan old interests common against Russia.
     
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  10. lem34

    lem34 MEMBER

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    You clearly have not read all the posts on the various oil pipelines that have been put up on pdf.

    Suggest you look at the cars thread where this has been discussed and predicted some time ago by me and others.
     
  11. VelocuR

    VelocuR SENIOR MEMBER

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    Of course, I read alot about oil pipelines, Pakistan gave awards to German company to finish IP pipelines, not Russia. I read everyday, I know the sense of Pakistan. On this topic, Russia will use Pakistan' interests and ocean access, Pakistan want to please another master and sold their soulsto the same master which we used to be enemy, right?
     
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  12. Pakistanisage

    Pakistanisage PROFESSIONAL

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    Russia is a lot more reliable and stable partner than the US. Besides, it is not controlled by Tel Aviv and Zionists have no hold over its Foreign Policy like the US. Warming relations between Russia and Pakistan is an excellent development.
     
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  13. lem34

    lem34 MEMBER

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    Did you understand and read between the lines. Sorry to say but seems not. Get real the impetus for the Russian Pakistan comes from China.
     
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  14. VelocuR

    VelocuR SENIOR MEMBER

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    It is stil fact Russia will use Pakistan's interests and use them for Russia' benefits. Pakistan sold their interests to US benefits in the pastand now Russia.

    The real threat is nuclear submarines (Akula) leased by Russia giving to India second capable strike, did Pakistan see anything?........No.

     
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  15. cyphercide

    cyphercide SENIOR MEMBER

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    So old skool Raptor.The future power bloc for Asia has already being decided on PDF,logic be damned !!! Behold....

    China
    Russia
    Afghanistan
    Pakistan

    Move over BRIC and get a load of C.R.A.P.....As always,you heard it first on PDF!!!
     
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