Pakistan and Russia at the second round of Joint Military Consultative Committee in Moscow discussed defense cooperation.

The Pakistani delegation was led by Defense Secretary Ikram-ul-Haq while Russian side by Deputy Defense Minister Alexander V Fomin.

The two sides exchanged views on regional security besides holding in-depth discussions on exploring and identifying areas of mutual cooperation including military training, joint exercises, intelligence cooperation and issues relating to defense industrial cooperation.

They agreed to ensure effective follow-up and implementation of the decisions taken during the meeting.

The two sides expressed the hope that the joint military consultative committee would play a vital role in enhancing defense cooperation.

A third round of the consultative committee will be held next year in Pakistan.

It may be noted that President Vladimir Putin has invited Prime Minister Imran Khan to a key economic conference in September in a far eastern Russian city.

The prime minister is learnt to have accepted Putin’s invitation to attend the Eastern Economic Forum scheduled to be held from Sept 05 to 06 in Vladivostok

The invitation to Premier Imran to attend EEF shows that Islamabad and Moscow have buried the bitter past to usher in a new era of friendship and cooperation.

In June, the premier said Islamabad is hopeful of increasing military ties with Moscow. Russia and Pakistan have been holding joint military drills — Dhruzba — since 2016. Prime Minister Imran Khan had held an 

informal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a dinner hosted by Kyrgyzstan president in honour of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

In May, a Russian diplomat in Islamabad said that Pakistan is an important partner for Russia with its significance determined by its role in regional politics, its influence in the Muslim world and its geostrategic position.