Pak-Russia relation: Implications for the US

There is no permanent foe nor friend in this materialistic world so that the former rival can be the present friend. The world is shifting from a unipolar to a multipolar era, and it permits countries to select new allies with new policies; due to that, Pakistan and Russia begin a fresh start of a relationship built on trust. The kinship of both states is multi-dimensional and what we want to achieve in a relationship is strong. Indeed both countries serve national interests and contribution to global stability.

After the cold war, the relation between both states was not much good, but after 2014, Russian brought changes in its policies that permit Pakistan to buy weapons from Moscow. The visit of the Pakistan Foreign Minister to Moscow was a green signal for both states, and they signed numerous pacts in the same month. The national security advisors’ high-level meeting was held between both states and discussed defense, strategic plan, and the nuclear issue. In 2016 first joint military exercise was carried between two states, which signifies a new era, in 2019, Russia announced to invest $14 billion in Pakistan’s energy sector. Moreover, both allies are cooperating in the Afghan peace process. Alexey Dedov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation, expressed that Pakistan’s position remained influential in Russian foreign policy towards South Asia.

Further, he said that Russia will help boost Pakistan’s economy in different triangles and cooperate with them in many sectors. In response Pakistan minister welcomed Moscow. During the two-day (April 6-7) visit to Pakistan, the Russian FM Sergey Lavrov said both countries decided to develop energy, defense. Economic, industrial modernization, railways, and aviation further elaborated that “Moscow and Islamabad would further strengthen the ties in fighting against terrorism. Russia will provide unspecified military equipment to Pakistan and the two states will hold more joint exercises at sea and in the mountains”. The relationship between both states is the beginning of a “new chapter” in Pakistan-Russia relations.

Earlier, Russia tilted more towards India and ignored Pakistan, but the present situation suited Pakistan more than India’s. It’s a new beginning with Pakistan that will pave the defense mechanisms for balancing power in the region. Moscow’s interest in Islamabad is currently based on CPEC, the future of the afghan, market for defense & space cooperation, and strategic sale; Moscow has facilitated Islamabad on 50,000 doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and shortly would deliver 150000 more amounts. Moscow builds up investment in Islamabad as US$ 1 billion for the upgrading and rehabilitation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) project, supply of SuperJet 100 (SSJ-100) planes on both wet and dry, Quetta to Taftan construction of railway track, and 26% share of Russia in Pakistan Stream Pipeline Project.

Moscow and Islamabad welcome each other on their strategic relationship, which they couldn’t digest from Washington. Pakistan wants better relations with Moscow to show Washington that Pakistan is not entirely relying on Washington; at any time, Islamabad can detour. Washington never allows Pakistan to have strong ties with Russia, but Delhi and Washington’s closer relations compelled Pakistan to quest for a new alliance. Some analyst views that US hegemony is about to wind up in the region and Pakistan does not remain most favor national in Washington’s eyes for its current tilt to India.

Moscow’s interest in Pakistan by its strategic location as approachable to Afghanistan and Central Asian states, Pakistan is a Muslim state and having significant influence in the Muslim world, and Russian Muslims have a vital role in the central Asian regions. Moscow expected that Islamabad having a crucial role in the Afghan peace process and stability of afghan; after the withdrawal of US forces, Russia can find a safe place in the region and will expand its hegemonic power in the Indo-pacific region; Russia anticipated that our understanding with Islamabad would drop-off terrorism, in Afghanistan and the region.

 

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