ISLAMABAD - Ambassador of Russian Federation Alexey  Dedov hosted a  grand and well attended reception to mark the National Day of his country in  Islamabad. The official participation was not only up to the mark but was the reflection of rapidly growing relations between two countries. It was obvious that both countries are not looking to the past memory but moving in the right direction to enhance the corporation in various fields. Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif was the chief guest on the occasion. Governor Punjab Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai and  Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister For National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi, Additional Secretary for Foreign Affairs  Rafi Ud din Saddique, Director General for Foreign Affairs Shafqat Ali Khan , National Security Advisor  Lieutenant General (Retd) Nasir Janjua  were some prominent governmental Officials  present on this occasion.

Senator Aitzaz Ahsan was also present on this occasion.

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong was the only ambassador from Diplomatic Corp who was present on the stage with the Russian ambassador and Pakistan dignitaries. Russia, Pakistan and Chinese friendship for the future was in the air and felt by majority in the reception, expressing the hope that this friendship will become a symbol of peace and prosperity of the region.

FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam was also present on this occasion. He was given special protocol by the Russian Ambassador. Both exchanged views about the ways and means to improve trade and economic corporation between the two countries.  The CEO of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) S M Munir with a business delegation is visiting  Russia to enhance the trade volume between the two countries. The bilateral trade volume during last five years has reached over $2 billion, showing an increase with each passing year. Abdul Rauf Alam is also planning to visit Russia with business a delegation.

Alexey Dedov, Ambassador of Russian Federation informed that Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) summit will be held on June 23-24, 2016 at Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan. He further informed that Pakistan and India would sign the document to become members of the SCO during the summit. The SCO will further help improve relations between Russia and Pakistan.  Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan are already member states of SCO. After inclusion of Pakistan and India in SCO, the organisation will become the most important regional bloc which would serve for regional peace and prosperity.

Highlighting Pakistan-Russia growing relations, Alexey Dedov said that  three weeks earlier, Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif   had visited Russia, whereas  National Security Advisor Lieutenant General (Retd) Nasir Janjua and Governor Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai have  retuned back from Russia few days ago.

Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Professor Ahsan Iqbal is the real architect of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Russian Ambassador and Ahsan Iqbal were on the stage and had a long discussion with each other. To further enhance the corporation between the two countries. Senator Aitzaz Ahsan was the centre of attraction for the many participants in the ceremony. He was invited on the stage but he preferred to remain with participants of the ceremony. He shared views and discussed current scenario with the participants. He said the government is not sincere to adopt the unanimous TORs.

Federal Minister For National Food Security Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said that he will try his best to abolish sales tax on fertilisers and  pesticides, as already the farmers are under stress.

Majority of the Defence attaches were present on the occasion with their spouses. They were all standing in a group in a hall which make their huge presence very obvious.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif’s visit to Moscow in June 2015 was  considered a gigantic step to lay down real foundation of friendship  between the two countries.  There had always been ups and downs between Russia and Pakistan’s relations but the visit of General Raheel Sharif to Russia has given a strategic direction for both countries in the field of defence cooperation and to create a better understanding. Both countries are working on several projects. They share same views to eliminate terrorism as both have joined the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).

Zafar Bakhtawari is a freelance contributor

 

Pakistan and Russia have entered into a defence cooperation agreement to strengthen defence and economic ties. Russia has sold four Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan and is currently in talks about the delivery of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets. Russia will lend $2.5 billion to Pakistan to carry LNG Pipeline from Lahore to Karachi. 

The membership of Pakistan in the SCO is the real game changer in the region. The China Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC) was the first game changer and the friendship between Pakistan china and Russia is the great game changer not only in the region but also in the world.