ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday has returned to Pakistan after concluding his visit to Russia which became fruitful as both countries have reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral relations.
The Premier had arrived in Russia on February 23 for a two-day, the first by a Pakistani prime minister in more than two decades, and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reset bilateral ties and expand cooperation in the energy sector.
The Prime Minister began his visit to Moscow on February 24 by laying a wreath at the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,’ and later met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, just hours after the Russian President ordered a special military operation in eastern Ukraine, ignoring last-minute appeals and warnings from the West.
On his arrival at Kremlin, PM Imran was warmly received by the Russian President.
The Russian president also hosted a luncheon for the Pakistani premier while the meeting extended three hours.
PM Imran Emphasises Resolving Disputes Thru Dialogue And Diplomacy
Prime Minister Imran Khan regretting the latest situation between Russia and Ukraine underlined Pakistan’s belief that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.
Imran Khan, who had a summit meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin in the Kremlin, said Pakistan had hoped diplomacy could avert a military conflict.
“The Prime Minister regretted the latest situation between Russia and Ukraine and said that Pakistan had hoped diplomacy could avert a military conflict”, a statement issued by the PM Media Office said.
“The Prime Minister stressed that conflict was not in anyone’s interest and that the developing countries were always hit the hardest economically in case of conflict. He underlined Pakistan’s belief that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy,” the statement added.
Reset Bilateral Ties And Expand Cooperation
The two leaders held wide-ranging consultations on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Recalling the telephone conversations during the recent months between the two leaders, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that the positive trajectory of bilateral relations will continue to move forward in the future.
He added that the trust and cordiality marking the relationship would translate into further deepening and broadening of mutual cooperation in diverse fields.
Cooperation In The Energy Sector
The Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of the Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline as a flagship economic project between Pakistan and Russia and also discussed cooperation on prospective energy-related projects.
He underscored Pakistan’s commitment to forge a long-term, multidimensional relationship with Russia.
In the regional context, the Prime Minister underlined the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis and preventing potential economic meltdown in Afghanistan.
He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community for a stable, peaceful and connected Afghanistan.
In this regard, the Prime Minister underscored the ongoing cooperation and coordination between Pakistan and Russia at various international and regional fora, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Grave Human Rights Violence In Occupied Kashmir
On the situation in South Asia, he highlighted the serious human rights situation in IIOJK and underscored the imperative of peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the developments detrimental to regional peace and stability and stressed the need for measures that would help keep the regional balance.