September 30, 2018 | Lodhi’s Speech at UN
September 29, 2018 | China rebuts US allegations
| Russian missiles challenge
September 28, 2018 | Iran defies America
| Britain and the EU
US influence in Islamabad is declining and Russia is looking to fill the military and economic aid void the US has left behind.
“It is an opening,” Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan is reported to have said.
Russia and Pakistan have announced plans “to establish a commission on military cooperation to combat the IS in the region…with this being followed by the sale of four Russian attack helicopters to Pakistan, as well as the purchase of Russian engines for the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17 fighter jets that Pakistan’s military assembles on its own soil”, reports read.
India was reportedly at first concerned about Russia joining up with Pakistan, but its foreign ministry effectively gave a green signal when it said that its own relations with Moscow “have stood the test of time”.
With the American-led West demanding more than Pakistan could deliver, the Russian overtures to Pakistan have come in the nick of time. And, this has the US worried, with allies Britain, France and Germany immediately putting Pakistan on a watch-list that monitors terrorism in close wake of the US suspending an earlier $2 billion military aid package to the Pakistan army.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khajwa Asif reportedly commented that his nation made a historical error by ’tilting 100 per cent’ to the West and is now eager to build alliances with China, Russia and Turkey.
“We want to correct the imbalance of our foreign policy over 70 years.” He said, “we want to have a balance in our relationships … we want to be closer to our friends in our region”, he said.
China is already set to invest about $60 billion in Pakistan’s infrastructure and Moscow now courts Pakistan with prospective energy deals valued in excess of US $10 billion.
In October 2017, Pakistan and Russia signed an energy deal with Russia’s Gazprom to enter negotiations to supply LNG to Pakistan with that deal evaluated at $ 9 billion over 15 years. Meanwhile, a gas pipeline is to be built by Russia, stretching 1,100 km from Lahore to Karachi. The pipeline would be the biggest deal by Russia since the early 1970s, when Soviet engineers constructed the Pakistan Steel Mills industrial complex in Karachi.