If the Russian president does make the trip, he will find Pakistan to be most hospitable and welcoming
ISLAMABAD: There have been reports in some sections of the media that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to visit Pakistan in the next two months. This news coincides with the arrival of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Washington on an official visit to the US. Earlier, a week before his departure, Russia signed a landmark LNG pipeline project agreement with Pakistan. This is a very significant development indeed. The news of President Putin’s trip, if he does visit the country, is certainly of greater importance.
If the Russian president does make the trip, he will find Pakistan and the people of Pakistan to be most hospitable and welcoming. We have a good relationship with the US, but we should not pursue that relationship at the cost of having cordial and friendly ties with Russia or any other country. Pakistan, thanks to its new leadership in Islamabad, and particularly General Raheel Sharif in Rawalpindi, has reframed its foreign policy.
Ignoring regional and geographical proximities and instead establishing relations with countries thousands of kilometers away is not always wise. Hopefully, there will soon be a new dawn in ties, leading to stability, peaceful coexistence and prosperity in the region.
F Z Khan
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.
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