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ہفتہ، 28 جولائی، 2012

Pak-Russia growing engagement

There is a bright future for the relations of the two countries. More so, since in the current global and regional situation, the position and interests of Pakistan and Russia converge, Russia-Pakistan partnership and closer ties will not only be to the benefit of the two countries, but the entire region. 

 The State of Pakistan and the Russian Federation first established the diplomatic and bilateral relations on May 1, 1948. Good relations play the role of bridges among nations. The relations between Pakistan and Russia have many folds. Right after independence we moved towards the capitalist block and neglected Russia. During the cold war period the relations between Russia and Pakistan have seen many ups and downs.

Both the countries were enjoying healthy relations, but later on these relations got disturbed after the 1958 US backed military coup. Several attempts were made after the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war and in 1970s which resulted in improving the relationships. The period of 1980s again disturbed the relations between both the countries, as Pakistan allied with the United States to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, by supporting the Mujahideen. After then the relations got off balanced on different fronts, but now the time has changed and it is important that we must keep aside old grievances and take a solid start.

The upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in September will help in paving a path for cooperation and harmony. The world politics is changing rapidly, and Russia has emerged as a global economic power. Pakistan at present is confronting multiple issues in different spheres.

It is an opportunity to avail and balance the relations. The economic environment of Pakistan is on a decline, and the industry is being shifted to other countries. Russia is a growing economy and can help in uplifting Pakistan's economy by cooperating in different sectors.

There are healthy chances that many deals will be in action for different energy projects. The energy crisis is mounting rapidly in Pakistan from the past few years, so Russia has shown interest to cooperate in energy sector. Russia has given a positive signal to improve the structure of Guddu and Muzaffargarh power plants, and there are healthy chances that a deal will strike during the visit of Russian President.

The Karachi Steel Mills was established with the cooperation of Russia, and at present it needs immediate assistance for its survival, and Russia can play a key role in this regard.
There are possibilities that both the countries may breeze in to an accord to improve the condition of Pakistan Steel Mills.

 Many regional interests will also be the core part of this tour. Russia supported Pakistani stance on the "Salalah Check Post" attack by US.
The Russian think tanks are tilting towards Pakistan, as they want to start a new era of cooperation. Russia has also shown interest to invest in Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
This tour will also pave a path to discuss the recent scenario of the war against terrorism and its implications to the entire region. Russia has offered Pakistan military assistance, and both the countries can also find a suitable ground to formulate a counter-terrorism policy.
The present condition in Afghanistan will also be the main theme of this tour, as both the countries will cooperate with each other in order to have a peaceful Afghanistan by joining in hands together.
Trade between both the countries will eliminate the shadows of past, by increasing the trade connectivity of Pakistani products in Russia. Cultural interaction between both the countries will bring their people together. Russia is a key player in the world economy and by cultivating better relations will help Pakistan to uplift their status.

The world is globalizing with a rapid pace, and it is the need of the hour to construct new alliances and search for new markets.
We must build better relations with Russia, as relations with the economic power are result-oriented. Genuine efforts must come into action, so that the relations between both the countries can flourish and serve our interest best. Pakistan has a vibrant position in the Russian foreign policy, and it is important to construct the bridges of cooperation instead the walls of hatred. Pakistan foreign policy is tilting towards Central Asia, and will pave way to construct better relations with Russia in the future.

Pakistan must take a flying start by starting a series of dialogues on political, economical, and strategic issues, so that both the countries can be benefited. I hope that the visit of Russian President will be the beginning of a new era of harmony and cooperation.

By Muhammad Uzair Niazi

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