ISLAMABAD – The US cannot influence Pakistan’s position on Russia because Islamabad is satisfied with the relations it has with Moscow and is willing to develop cooperation in all areas, the former foreign secretary of the Foreign Ministry told Sputnik Pakistani Riaz Khokhar.
“I do not think the US can influence Islamabad in terms of relations between Pakistan and Russia, our relations with the US are quite difficult and are characterized by constant up and down jumps,” Khokhar said in response to the corresponding question.
Speaking about relations with Russia, the former Pakistani diplomat stressed that they “improved considerably and became extremely friendly.”
“We are grateful to Russia for the assistance it gives us,” Khokhar said.
He added that Pakistan is interested in “developing economic cooperation with Russia”, therefore welcomes Russian investments in the country.
Khokhar recalled that there is still a steel mill in Pakistan built by Soviet specialists in the 1960s; In addition, Russia helped the country with the exploration of oil fields.
“Now there are many areas of cooperation,” he said.
Islamabad is seeking to consolidate relations with Moscow after the abrupt cooling of its relations with Washington, journalist Alexandr Braterskiy said last year.
“Lately, Islamabad and Moscow have intensified their bilateral cooperation, and Pakistan and Russia have been talking for a long time about the situation in Afghanistan,” the columnist writes in his article for Gazeta.ru.
Precisely this issue, together with the fight against terrorism and cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, was tackled on February 20 during the meeting of Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov
The journalist recalled that Pakistan continues to maintain its influence over the Taliban movement – a terrorist organization banned in Russia.
“For its part, Russia has been supporting groups that fight against the Taliban for years,” the author of the article stresses.