Energy, economic cooperation remain focus of Pakistan PM’s Russia visit

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Thursday.–Courtesy Prime Minister's Office (Twitter)

MOSCOW: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had a summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Thursday.

During the meeting, the two leaders held consultations on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

This was the first visit of a Pakistani prime minister to Russia in 23 years. Nawaz Sharif was the last Pakistani prime minister to visit Russia in 1999.

Recalling his telephone conversations with President Putin in recent months, Prime Minister Khan expressed his confidence that the positive trajectory of bilateral relations would continue to move forward in future. He said the trust and cordiality marking Pakistan-Russia relations would further deepen and broaden the mutual cooperation between the two countries in diverse fields.

Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline

The Pakistani prime minister reaffirmed the importance of the Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline as a flagship economic project between Pakistan and Russia and discussed the cooperation on prospective energy-related projects. He underscored Pakistan’s commitment to a long-term and multidimensional relationship with Russia.

Humanitarian Crisis In Afghanistan

In the regional context, the Pakistani prime minister underlined the urgency to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and prevent the potential economic meltdown in the war-ravaged country. He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community for a stable, peaceful and connected Afghanistan. In this regard, he underscored the need for cooperation and coordination between Pakistan and Russia at various international and regional forums, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Human Rights Situation In Kashmir

On the situation in South Asia, Prime Minister Khan highlighted the serious human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and underscored the need for a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He highlighted the developments detrimental to regional peace and stability and laid stress on the measures that would help keep the regional balance.

The Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The Pakistani prime minister regretted the latest situation that had developed between Russia and Ukraine and said that Pakistan had hoped diplomacy would avert the military conflict. He said that conflict was not in anyone’s interest and that the developing countries were always hit hard economically by conflicts. He said Pakistan believed that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.

Extremism And Islamophobia

Expressing concern on the rising trends of extremism and Islamophobia in the world, the Pakistani prime minister emphasized the need for interfaith harmony and coexistence. He appreciated President Putin’s understanding of the respect and sensitivities that Muslims attach to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and said that interfaith harmony and respect for all religions was imperative for peace and harmony within and among the societies.

Prime Minister Imran Khan accompanied by a high-level delegation was on a two-day visit to Russia, February 23-24, 2022. He was accompanied by his cabinet members and senior officials.

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