Pakistan Russia Relations
Russia has come to realize Pakistan’s role in resolving the issues plaguing this region and Pakistan also seems to be contemplating on ways to lessen its reliance on America and to diversify its support base among the powerful states of this region.
On march 5th2012, the news of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s victory in Russian President elections would have gone down well in Pakistani policy-making circle. It meant something more than just that, as Putin’s victory signifies the continuity of the process of normalization of Pakistan Russia relations, which have a background of hostility,suspicion and distrust.
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Among the initial few calls that Mr Putin received after the victory , one was that of P.M Gillani: this goes on to show the extend to which Pakistani leadership was interested in the outcome of this election. Foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s last month visit to Russia was also successful and has a bearing on this positive atmosphere in the mutual relationship. Finally, Russia has come to realize Pakistan’s role in resolving the issues plaguing this region and Pakistan on ways to lessen its reliance on America and to diversify its support base among the powerful states of this region.
Pakistan Russia Relations
At the time of the partition of India, the Soviet Union viewed both India and Pakistan with suspicion but it was more critical of India than Pakistan. The Soviets formally conveyed an invitation to Liaquat Ali Khan for a state visit in 1949, but the tour did not materialize due to some considerations from Pakistan, and Liaquat Ali Khan chose to go to Washington instead in May 1950. Pakistan under the U.S influence joined SEATO and cento , thus by earning the ire of the USSR. There also happened incidents that added bad taste to already worsen relations like U-2 incident in 1960.
The ice begun to break in relations between Russia and Pakistan in Ayub Khan’s presidency as on March 2, 1961, the Soviet Union signed an agreement on oil exploration with Pakistan. This was Pakistan’s first acceptance of Soviet economic and technical assistance. The period from 1961to 1971 saw ups and downs in Pakistan Russia relations till the debacle of Bangladesh in which the Russians clearly sided with the Indians. Soon afterwards, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on assuming the reins of Pakistan as the PM took Pakistan out of alliances like SEATO and CENTO.
Now that the impediments towards good relations were removed, both the countries undertook initiatives for a harmonious relationship. Pakistan and the USSR signed an agreement under which the Soviet granted technical and Financial assistance for the construction of a steel mill in Karachi which had the capacity of producing 2 million tons of steel per annum. The Soviet provided assistance in oil and gas exploration, and several power projects, including Guddu.
The relations took a nosedive when President Zia took over: one, because of his adverse ideological thoughts about Marxism and socialism, secondly also because of Zia’s covert help in Afghanistan.But the relations became reasonable well when by the way of the Geneva accord signed on April 14, 1988, Pakistan allowed a face-saving exit to Russia from Afghanistan. Russia also changed its policy towards the region by pursuing the policies of Perestroika and glasnost of internal restructuring its state and economy.
When the USSR disintegrated, Pakistan recognized Russian Federation on 20 December, 1991, as successor to the Soviet Union. Pakistan Russia Relations the period of Taliban in Afghanistan was a timely aberration when the relations again touched a low. But when Pakistan joined the international fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11 incidents, Russia resolved to support Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism.