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The Changing Equation In S Asia

In a rare first, the Pakistani soldiers and officers will undergo the training at Russian military institutes.
The Pak Defence Ministry recently confirmed the news, saying in a statement that Islamabad and Moscow signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in Russian Federation’s Training Institutes. The development is a clear indication of the deepening defence ties between the two countries which were in the opposing camp of world politics till a few years ago. The contract will certainly pave the way for the Pakistani troops to undergo training in Russia, which has been India’s biggest political ally and suppliers of weapons and other defence equipment.
Pakistan has strengthened ties with Russia mainly because of the US, which has put the South Asian country under tremendous diplomatic pressure over the terror issue. Russia and Pakistan had taken part in joint military drills in 2016 and also in 2017. The changing equation of global geopolitics influences the Indian foreign policy. In fact, India had complained Moscow when Russia and Pakistan conducted the first-ever joint military training in 2016.

Fomin & Shah signing the contract

Last week, Pak Defence Secretary Lieutenant General (Retired) Zamir ul Hassan Shah held a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defence Colonel General Alexander V Fomin to discuss different aspects of bilateral defence ties. The Russian minister also discussed the current political situation in West Asia and Afghanistan with his Pakistani host. Fomin also held a separate meeting with Chief of Pakistani Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Fomin with General Bajwa

Meanwhile, Former Pakistani Defence Secretary Lieutenant General Talat Masood has said that Islamabad and Moscow are trying hard to boost defence ties. As the US-Pakistan relations have touched a new low, Islamabad has decided to strengthen ties with Moscow, explained Masood. According to the former defence secretary, it’s a win-win situation for both the countries, as Russia is eager to expand its share of the global arms market.
Another defence expert Dr Syed Farooq Hasnat is of the opinion that Pakistan plans to leave the US bloc. “This agreement is a positive development and in days to come, Pakistan and Russia will come more close to each other in the face of hostile attitude of the US. Pakistan has no conflict with Russia besides it is already close to China which is a good friend of Pakistan. In fact, President Donald Trump’s policies towards Pakistan have forced it to find new alliances,” stressed Dr Hasnat.

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