Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa recently met his Russian counterpart, Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleg Salyukov, and discussed various aspects of bilateral military and defence cooperation.
The Russian army chief said that Pakistan was an important country in terms of its geo-strategic location, and that his country was keen on further expanding its bilateral military ties with Pakistan. General Bajwa thanked General Salyukov stating that Pakistan “reciprocates desire of enhanced bilateral military engagements”, said an official statement by the ISPR.
General Salyukov also recognized Pakistani army’s achievements and success in the fight against terrorism that has contributed towards regional peace and stability, the ISPR statement further said.
Pakistan’s ties with its Cold War adversary have improved in the recent years with experts even stating that US President Trump’s harsh policies on Pakistan have pushed Islamabad closer to Russia and China.
In 2016, Russia held its first-ever military exercises with Pakistan and started selling weapons to Islamabad. General Bajwa’s visit was preceded by Nasir Khan Janjua’s visit to Russia on the invitation of Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, on 22-23 April. Janjua’s inter-ministerial visit was the first-time ever that inter-Ministerial level delegations led by National Security Advisers of the two countries met each other.
The delegation from the Pakistani side included senior representatives comprising Secretaries, Additional Secretaries and Maj. Generals from National Security Division, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence Production, Strategic Plans Division, Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and Intelligence. The Russian side included Mr. Nikolai Patrushev, Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces of the Russian Federation, senior representatives from Russian Security Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs, RosoboronExport, Federal Security Services, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation and RosCosmos.
Various issues were discussed in the meetings mainly regional connectivity and prospects of closer cooperation in the fields of space, defence, security, economy & trade, cyber security, intelligence-sharing. The first phase of the talks included delegation-level talks, which were followed by a one-on-one meeting between the National Security Advisers of Pakistan and Russia. Both the NSAs expressed their satisfaction of the current trajectory of the relations between both the countries.