PM’s crucial Moscow visit

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IT is really heartening to see that Pakistan is no longer putting all its eggs in one basket rather on the path of diversifying its economic relationship.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Moscow, which he will undertake this week, is also being in the same context and one expects it will provide an opportunity to both the sides to dilate upon expanding their relations with focus on economy, investment and trade.

This is the first time a Pakistani Premier will be visiting Russia after 1999.

Over the last few years, the two countries have moved closer to each other whilst forgetting the bitterness of cold war when Pakistan chose to ally with the United States which, in fact, never proved to be trustworthy friend rather always ditched us.

Pakistan remained at the forefront in the war on terrorism and inflicted major human and material losses no other country would have faced.

Yet, the US never misses any opportunity to point fingers on Pakistan for its own failures in Afghanistan.

Anyway, we are not against maintaining cordial relations with Washington but these should be based on mutual respect and interest.

And at the same time, we should continue to explore avenues of cooperation with other major countries.

Whilst Pakistan-China relations are always on upward trajectory ever since the launch of multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as this project is bringing Chinese investment in the country, we believe that Russia-Pakistan relations can also be mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.

For instance, Russia can also become part of the CPEC and use the Gwadar port for trade to access warm waters.

Then Russia has also shown the intent to help Pakistan both in the energy and defence sectors.

There have been joint military drills in recent years and Moscow has also provided Pakistan with military helicopters but the North-South Gas pipeline is yet to commence and facing prolonged delays.

Given our increasing energy shortages, PM Khan should particularly raise the construction of this project as well as the Kazakhstan gas pipeline with the Russian President.

Gas from Kazakhstan will be much cheaper than the LNG and greatly help address chronic gas shortage in the country.

We understand the launch of work on these two gas pipeline projects worth billions of dollars will help further cement and provide impetus to the bilateral relationship.

The people of Pakistan are also looking forward for the visit of President Putin and undoubtedly this will mark a new beginning in relationship.

 

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