The visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Pakistan has become of special significance in view of the Iran-China agreement, the growing proximity in Beijing and Moscow and the recent developments in the region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday for a two-day visit, which many analysts say is crucial. The visit is also well covered in the national media. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a video message on the occasion that this is the first visit of a Russian Foreign Minister to Pakistan in nine years.
Qureshi said, “Russia is a very important country in the region, with which bilateral relations are improving. We intend to work together in the region. ”
The foreign minister added, “Pakistan is watching how its economic and defence relations with Russia are progressing and Islamabad also wants to move the North-South gas pipeline project forward with Moscow.” Russia also has long-standing relations with India. Russia can also persuade India to play a positive role in bringing peace to Afghanistan.
During his visit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will also hold talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa.
Relations between Pakistan and the then Soviet Union were not good during the Cold War. But after the end of the war, relations between Moscow and Islamabad gradually improved, but they did not show much warmth. The last time a Russian foreign minister visited Pakistan was in 2012 when President Putin cancelled his visit. The then Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited Russia.
Relations between the two countries have improved in recent years, which many analysts are watching with great interest and see as a sign that Pakistan’s focus is now on the East.
The general impression in Islamabad is that the current US administration is not giving much importance to Pakistan. Critics say President Joe Biden called several heads of state and government, but the Pakistani prime minister has yet to receive a call. In addition, the United States did not invite Pakistan to the environmental conference, while John Kerry did not visit Pakistan either.