(PKONWEB Report): Russia says it is providing military support to Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to improve their counter-terrorism capabilities– not just the US.
Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2018 in Indian capital New Delhi, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Morgulov, said: “We provide support to Pakistan to improve its counter-terrorism capabilities. We sold several helicopters to Pakistan to help them to have their own counter-terrorism operations.” The two cold war foes now turned friends have also conducted counterterrorism exercises in the countries.
Morgulov added that Pakistan is also suffering from terrorist attacks; therefore, Moscow is providing support to all the regional countries including Kabul and Islamabad to defeat the common threat of terrorism.
“First, we provide this support to Afghanistan. We are training Afghan national security forces. We are sending weapons to Afghan national security forces for free by the way and including those Kalashnikovs which then we don’t know where they go to,” he added.
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Former President Hamid Karzai who was also present at the panel said Moscow and Islamabad relations are new; however, he said the U.S. has failed in Afghanistan, adding that the US has given more importance to Pakistan compared with Afghanistan.
“The Russian-Pakistan relationship is new and not as impactful as the American-Pakistan relationship…Russian military is not as close to the Pakistani military as the U.S. military is,” Karzai said.
“[Once] when I pressed the U.S. delegation on Pakistan and their support to Pakistan suddenly vice president (Joe) Biden got up from his place and said look Mr. Karzai, Pakistan is fifty times more important for us than you Afghanistan. That is the relationship that we should focus on.”
Among top attendees were Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian PM Modi, as well as scholars, intellectuals, etc from USA, China, Sweden Tanzania and the EU.
At the event, Vijay Kumar Singh, an Indian politician and a retired four-star-general, emphasized on the economical growth of Afghanistan in order to become self-sustained, report Ariana News.
“[Afghanistan] has to take money to survive. Till the time that economy doesn’t improve, till the time we do not open the roads, till the time we do not allow free flow of trade and commerce. You will find that there will be a problem in Afghanistan where it will remain dependent,” the former Indian General said.
The India-sponsored annual dialogue took place in the backdrop of multilateralism and multipolarity– considered the new normal in the region as well as worldwide, an observer said.
On Day 3 of the Raisina Dialogue, halfway through the itinerary, a panel of naval chiefs of the Quad countries – India, Australia, Japan, and US – sat down to discuss how best to address the rise of a common foe: China which has an all-weather friendship with Pakistan– India’s western neighbor and Afghanistan’s eastern neighbor. Both “iron brothers” have embarked on a multibillion dollar energy and trade corridor called China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Once fully operational by 2027, the CPEC will make Pakistan the center of economic gravity of the region with China having shortest access for oil, trade and investments in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
Dino Patti Djalal, of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, was on the panel too, and observed that China’s rise was a reality for the region: It could not be checked, like any major power could not be checked – not India, not the US, not Russia. So, he said, there is a need to accommodate it peacefully.
The third edition of The Raisina Dialogue was at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave in Delhi from January 16–18. The theme for the 2018 Conference wass “Managing Disruptive Transitions: Ideas, Institutions and Idioms”. This theme was designed to explore the shifting dynamics within the global order; where old relationships need new directions, emerging partnerships face unprecedented constraints and the notions of power and sovereignty are challenged. The Dialogue aims to foster discussions on the role of institutions, the possibility of collective action and successful responses to these modern developments.
More About Raisina Dialogue
The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi. Since its inception in 2016, the conference has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
The conference is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving a variety of global policymakers including heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials. In addition, The Dialogue also welcomes major private sector executives, as well as members of the media and academia. It is designed on the lines of Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialogue.