# PM Khan’s visit to Russia, though not announced yet, will be the first by a Pakistani premier in over two decades.
# Khan is expected to visit Moscow from February 23 to 26, say diplomatic sources.
# Khan is expected to take up the agenda of two mega gas projects when in Moscow.
( Media Sources).
N. P. Upadhyaya
Kathmandu: South Asian political pundits in South Asia more so in Nepal have had already guessed that India and Russia over these years were not enjoying “warm and affectionate” relations with each other.
Indeed, the Indo-Russian ties trajectory is running in reverse gear.
Notably, during the entire Cold War period, the Indian regime in a nonstop manner glued itself to the then Super Power USSR and when the USSR abruptly broke in the early 1990s, the chameleon Indian command switched its camp and joined the lone Super Power-the USA.
As rivals, Pakistan and India had then their own choices during the Cold War era carrying the animosities side by side.
If India glued to the USSR then its rival Pakistan willingly inched closer to the United States of America.
Political equations keep on changing with the changing political context and the global demands but the “balance” somehow or the other is maintained.
Equations also changes as per the prime interests of a particular country and so the alignments and realignments.
Thus orientations and shifts take place which is not a surprise for those veterans who have the expertise in the domain of the international relations.
So if the Indian rule found greater benefits in changing the camps from USSR-(now the Russian Federation), so was more or less the compulsion of Pakistani regime to take steps that brought it closer to Vladimir Putin’s Russian Federation.
While India ignored and rated Russia inferior over to the Super Power USA then Pakistan, out of neglect and frustration of being used and over used by the USA for over few decades, as they say, it have had to decide to make some political gambits which attracted the attention of the Russian Federation-the legal heir apparent of the former USSR.
While India joined the US camp to strengthen itself and make strong to match with the mammoth and the gigantic China’s people’s liberation army (PLA), then Pakistan appears to have slipped closer to the Russian Federation in order to “balance” the South Asian power game.
If ties with the USA for India meant “containing and teasing” China every now and then, Pakistan’s hobnob with the Russians was motivated by the desire to bring in closer the former Super Power in order to, once again, play the “power games” on equal basis.
Pakistan’s closeness to the USA was utilized by the latter to tame and control Afghanistan and that way to repel the presence or say blunt the presence of the Soviet Union.
But having sided with the USA for decades and decades, Pakistan may have pocketed few billion dollars but with the end of the Cold War, Pakistan was- the Pakistanis say, left to the mercy of the Almighty.
Contrarily, the Indian regime with the tacit support of the USSR, initiated a calculated War on Pakistan and finally broke the country under the façade of “liberation war” as the fighters who claimed that they were fighting with Pakistan Army were none less than by the men from the Indian Militia clad as ordinary men.
India fought a war with Pakistan only to weaken the latter and finally to break the country.
Poor Pakistan which expected substantial support from its war time ally-the USA, turned a deaf ear into the cries of the Pakistani authorities.
The stigma still remains perhaps.
A new country emerged in South Asia named Bangladesh to be run, as per the Bangladeshi scholar and freedom fighter Zainal Abedin, “New Delhi’s RAW men”.
If Abedin is to be believed then the new SA nation is under the absolute control of New Delhi’s RAW establishment whose approach is deep inside the power corridors of Bangladesh.
Whether Abedin is correct or not, we surely fail to guarantee because it is he who says of his own country, however, looking the way into our own Nepali administration since the first days of April 1990s as to how and who is controlling the entire power structure in Nepal then, as a matter of reference, what can authentically be reiterated that the Indian hazard RAW must have deeply plagued the B’desh or else why scholar Abedin, a freedom fighter himself, should accuse India of the deep penetration of the RAW machinery into the body politic of a new nation that took birth only to weaken Pakistan.
Look the tryst of destiny, the breakaway country Bangladesh possess immense love and honor for Pakistan for a variety of political reasons and “interventions”.
Let’s come to the main topic:
That the Russian and Pakistani friendship took an abrupt and unanticipated positive trajectory, honestly speaking, during the Sanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting held in June, 2019 in Biskek wherein per chance the Russia’s macho man Vladimir Putin and the comfortably new political animal, Imran Khan from Pakistan attended the meet almost side by side to the extent that they two sat together at time of grand dinner in the course of the Biskek SCO meet.
For the record, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is a regional grouping led by two indomitable forces in the contemporary world Moscow and Beijing.
It is only but natural when two political stalwarts sit close to each other then “new surprising equations” perhaps take birth.
And it was so that now one could say that it was the SCOs Biskek meet that allowed Putin and Khan to interact with and know each other and it was this meet which perhaps paved the way for the what could be taken as the beginning of the “new alignments and realignments” in between some nations in this part of the world-for example Pakistan and Russia.
Strong critics of Pakistan even accuse that Pakistan in many more ways than one remained “instrumental” in the quick collapse of the mighty Super Power of the Cold War era-the USSR (?).
Needless to say, Pakistan that time was a “trusted and tested ally” of the USA which at a later stage dumped Pakistan as if the latter have had no contributions made in favor of the USA at least on matters pertaining to Afghanistan.
Right or wrong, the incumbent Pakistani Premier Imram Khan, reports the News dated February 11, 2022, says that “US always used Pakistan for its purposes. “Whenever the US needed us, they established relations, and Pakistan became frontal state, and then abandoned it and slapped sanction on us” when its purposes were served, he regretted.
PM Khan made these observations while talking to Dr. Eric Li, the director of the advisory committee of the China Institute at Fudan University.
If so then Pakistan PM Khan wants to tell the world that Pakistan was used and overused by the US when the former was needed for its help.
Well it is his reiteration and we have nothing to add from our side.
But yet what could be said here is that PM Khan should have not made such harsh comments on the USA as the US is still not a sinking horse. Pakistan may need the US again as international relations keep on changing.
More so, his airing of the views as regards the US and that too with a Chinese perhaps will not send positive signals here and there including the US itself.
Wisdom would demand that PM Khan tones down his emotional views as regards the US as the US leaders still say that “we have very cordial ties with Pakistan”.
PM Khan appears to have been carried away by the Chinese interviewer Dr. Eric Li.
PM Khan’s fury against the US could be due to the fact that the new US president Joe Biden apparently is yet to make a direct telephonic conversation with Pakistan Prime Minister.
Khan is pained but such a pain must not damage the ties with the US which still is a Super Power.
To handle pain, several other ways are available in diplomacy.
Khan would have done well had he refrained from making undiplomatic remarks on the US and that too while talking to a Chinese intellectuals.
Khan must know that the US and China are not in good terms these days.
Small things count in international relations.
PM Khan must not forget that when India left the USSR and joined the US camp, so it would mean that Pakistan is abandoning the US in favor of the Russian Federation.
Wisdom and diplomatic wisdom demands that PM Khan should try to mend the differences with the US.
Summary abandoning the US is not a good proposition and conversely total dependence on China too is not advisable for obvious reasons.
The US and China are tied up with trade in billions and billions and thus they can patch up their political differences any time.
Who knows if today is the Russian Federation then it could be USA tomorrow as the international equations keep on changing and alignments and realignments are made to break and again to make?
It keeps on rolling and the nations decide on where to stick to get served their prime national interests.
In addition, China is a shrewd business enterprise and thus a businessman shall trade with the other only till he enjoys benefits.
Sri Lanka freshly must have understood, as the rumor goes, what China is in a roundabout manner.
Thus Pakistan must remain extra vigilant and too much confidence on China, at least this scribe, will not suggest.
However, Khan’s Foreign minister S. M. Qureshi says, November 22, 2021 that his country wanted to deepen its longstanding ties with the United States.
(Strong rumors are afloat that FM Qureshi and PM Khan are not even in talking terms on certain “diplomatic” or ministerial performance issues).
He said this while meeting with Congressmen Gregory Meeks, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representative (HFAC).
Back to the topic:
It was 21 December in 2020, when the Delhi based Russian Ambassador Nikolai Kudashev at a press meet in Delhi bluntly sounded the host country that, “Moscow’s relationship with Islamabad is to further develop and that it is “independent” of their ties with India.
Intelligent brains could collect as much as they could and infer that the Russian tilt is now towards Pakistan.
And when the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavarov took a flight to Islamabad, April 6/7 2021, straight from Delhi then nothing was left for further explanation.
The Russian preference thus visibly shifted from Delhi to Islamabad.
Moscow saw Islamabad more appropriate than Delhi in South Asia.
It must have badly jolted Delhi as Russia was taken “friend in the bowl” to which it was neither nor shall ever be.
The paradigm shift is there which has tilted in Pakistani favor for the time being until yet another equation comes into the fore.
Thus no surprise that the Russian macho man V. Putin has invited PM Imran Khan to visit Moscow.
As per the reports that have come to us, PM Khan is most likely to pay an official visit to Russia by the end of February this month itself.
The Russian news agency, TASS, quoting Kremlin sources says February 7, 2022, that “Indeed, arrangements are being made for such a visit. We will announce its date in a timely fashion”.
Earlier, the Express Tribune newspaper, citing Pakistani diplomatic sources, also reported that Khan may visit Russia by February end.
But the Ukraine crisis could delay, but not sure, PM Khan’s official visit to Moscow.
FM Qureshi who is apparently not so much pleased with his Prime Minister Khan has clarified that Khan’s visit to the Russian Federation is not or will be not at the cost of the Washington-Islamabad ties.
Qureshi just the other day said that “Pakistan desires to have a broad-based and multidimensional relationship with the United States”.
Talking to The Nation, February 11, 2022, FM Qureshi said that the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Russia is strategically important for Pakistan.
He also said that this visit is not at the cost of Pakistan’s relations with United States of America.
‘Pakistan’s relations with USA are going well and there is no problem in it,’ he maintained.
The damage to the US ties has been more or less corrected.
Talking on PM Khan’s impending visit to Russia, FM Qureshi clarified his country’s stance stating that “Russia is an important country of the region,” and that it has a role to play in the peace and stability of Afghanistan and so we want to work together on projects which benefit Russia, Pakistan and the entire region.
Realizing perhaps the “diplomatic blunder”, PM Khan February 13, 2022, dispelled the impression that Pakistan was more inclined towards China than any other country.
He has clarified that his country’s strategic direction was to “maintain” relations with everyone.
He hastened to add that “we don’t want to be in a position that implies as if we are a part of a certain camp”, PM Khan said this while interacting with journalists, former diplomats and representatives of think tank in Islamabad February 13, 2022.
Needless to say, PM Khan appears to have timely corrected his diplomatic “slip” while talking to Dr. Eric Li.
Have a nice and advantageous visit to Moscow PM Khan. That’s all.