Pakistan PM concludes visit to Moscow after meeting President Putin
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday during which the premier reaffirmed the importance of the Pakistan Stream gas pipeline as a flagship economic project between the two countries.
“The two leaders discussed the main aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on current regional topics, including developments in South Asia,” the Kremlin said.
PM Khan’s two-day visit, which started hours before Russian forces attacked Ukraine, was the first by a Pakistani PM in more than two decades. The premier was accompanied by a high-level delegation.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had a summit meeting with the Russian President in the Kremlin where the two leaders held wide-ranging consultations on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. Imran Khan underscored Islamabad’s commitment to establishing a long-term, multidimensional relationship with Russia.
Cooperation in the field of energy
The Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline to be constructed by Russian and Pakistani companies was the key agenda of the talks in Kremlin. Imran Khan reaffirmed the importance of the multibillion-dollar gas pipeline as a flagship economic project between the two countries and also discussed cooperation on prospective energy-related projects.
The visiting delegation led by PM Khan also held a detailed discussion with Deputy Prime of Russia, Minister Alexander Novak, on Russia-Pakistan economic relations, with a special focus on cooperation in the fields of energy and gas.
Imran Khan also lamented the ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine and said that the conflict was not in anyone’s interest, especially the developing countries as they are hit the hardest by such conflicts. He underscored Pakistan’s belief that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, adding that Pakistan had hoped diplomacy could avert a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Afghanistan crisis and Kashmir issue
Prime Minister Imran Khan also discussed Afghanistan crisis with the Russian counterpart, highlighting the urgency to address the humanitarian crisis and to prevent potential economic meltdown in the war-hit country. He reiterated that Islamabad would continue to collaborate and cooperate with the international community for a peaceful, stable, and connected Afghanistan.
Imran Khan also highlighted the serious human rights crisis in Indian occupied Kashmir and underlined that Pakistan desires a peaceful solution to the long-running Jammu and Kashmir dispute. The Prime Minister also highlighted the latest developments detrimental to the South Asian peace and stability and urged the international community to intervene to ensure regional balance prevails.
Imran Khan also expressed concerns on rising trends of extremism and Islamophobia around the globe and stressed upon the need for interfaith harmony and coexistence. He also appreciated President Putin’s condemnation of Islamophobia adding that interfaith harmony and respect for all religions was essential for global peace.
Meeting with head of Chechen Republic and Grand Mufti
Prime Minister Imran Khan also met with the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. He also visited the Moscow Cathedral Mosque where the Prime Minister and his delegation was welcomed by the Grand Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin.
Khan hopes to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations
Concluding the two-day visit to Russia on Thursday, PM Imran Khan expressed confidence that “the positive trajectory of bilateral relations will continue to move forward in the future.” He added that the trust and cordiality marking the relationship would translate into further deepening and broadening of mutual cooperation in diverse fields.