Pak NSA, Army chief in Russia, vow to boost security, military ties

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ISLAMABAD/MOSCOW, April 25 (PTI): The national security advisers of Pakistan and Russia have met in Moscow and discussed the situation in South Asia and the main challenges and threats to global security, media reports said.

Russia-Pakistan ties has been improving steadily since the two signed a military cooperation agreement in 2014. The two countries also held joint military exercises in 2016 and last year, as Moscow and Islamabad made efforts to move past their bitter Cold War hostilities.

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. (Ret) Nasser Khan Janjua visited Moscow this week and met Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, The News reported.

Janjua, who led a high-level inter-ministerial delegation, reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to continue to work together with Russia for further improvement in relationship and to seek enduring peace and stability in the region, it said.

This is the first-time ever that inter-ministerial level delegations led by national security advisers of the two countries met each other, the Pakistani newspaper reported.

Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported that Patrushev and Janjua stressed their interest in further security cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad.

“Issues of bilateral military cooperation in information security and countering international terrorism were studied,” it quoted the Russian Security Council press service as saying.

“The general situation in South Asia and the main challenges and threats to global security were discussed,” it added.

Janjua arrived in Russia to take part in the ninth international meeting of security chiefs that will be held in Sochi on April 24-26, Tass reported.

Janjua gave an elaborate presentation on trends of global power politics. He shared his strategic thinking about evolving security challenges around the globe with particular focus on the region, The News reported.

He also highlighted the common opportunities for Russia and Pakistan.

Regional connectivity and prospects of closer cooperation in the fields of space, defence, security, economy and trade, cyber security, intelligence-sharing remained the main focus of the delegation level talks, it said.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction at the positive trajectory and progression of mutual relationship at bilateral and multilateral levels including at the Shanghai Cooperation Organistation and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has met Russian Army Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Oleg Salyukov and discussed security and defence-related issues.

Salyukov said Pakistan is a geo-strategically important country and Russia is keen to expand its existing bilateral military-to-military cooperation, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army’s media arm, said in a statement yesterday.

Bajwa said that Pakistan “reciprocates desire of enhanced bilateral military engagements” with Russia, the statement said.

Bajwa said that Russia has recently played a positive role to help resolve complex situations in the region. He also said that Pakistan will continue to play its part to keep conflicts away from the region and seek approaches which bring regional convergences into play rather that the divergences, the statement said.

The chill Pak-US ties, especially after President Donald Trump warned Islamabad against providing safe havens to terror groups, has further pushed Pakistan towards Russia and China.

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