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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Imran Khan extends invitation to Putin, discuss ties on call

President Putin called Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and to expand grounds on bilateral cooperation.

In a telephonic conversation on Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged views on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and bilateral relations.

The Prime Minister, who received a telephone call from the President of the Russian Federation, stressed that a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan was vitally important for Pakistan and regional stability.

Besides ensuring safety, security and protection of rights of Afghans, an inclusive political settlement was the best way forward, he added.

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The Prime Minister underscored that the international community must stay positively engaged in support of the people of Afghanistan, to help address the humanitarian needs and ensure economic sustenance.

He underscored the importance of coordinated approaches in addressing the evolving situation and noted that Pakistan attached high importance to the role of the Troika Plus format.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory of Pakistan-Russia relations, with increased high-level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse fields.

He reiterated the government’s resolve to strengthen trade relations and bilateral collaboration in the energy sector, including the early realization of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.

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The two leaders agreed to cooperate closely within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to promote regional peace and security.

The Prime Minister reiterated his invitation to President Putin to visit Pakistan.

Pakistan-Russia relations uplifted 2014 onwards when both countries had signed a defence pact. The deal laid down an exchange of intelligence, promotion of cooperation on international security concerns like terrorism, drug trafficking and exchange experiences on peacekeeping.

Both Pakistan and Russia want a friendly government in Afghanistan. Russian concerns stem from the memory of the Chechen rebels and the fear of a Daesh presence destabilizing its backyard.

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In 2013 President Putin stressed the imminent threats Afghanistan’s instability poses to the national security objectives of the Russian federation. Since then, Pakistan has been highlighted by Russia as a focal player in the Afghan Peace Process and has urged the US and its allies to take Pakistan into confidence.

Currently, Pakistan, Russia and China are seen as the frontline of the Eurasian alignment, and with the situation in Afghanistan, this engagement is likely to deepen.

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Via APP with additional inputs from GVS