Russian-Pakistan rivalry giving way to cooperation?

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by chex3009, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    Russian-Pakistan rivalry giving way to cooperation?

    * Russo-Pakistan relations a history of ups and downs

    * Energy concerns vital to both

    * Islamic militancy a common enemy

    By Augustine Anthony


    ISLAMABAD, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov arrives in Islamabad for a two-day bilateral counter-terrorism summit starting on Monday, as Moscow seeks to deepen ties with Islamabad.

    While the Russians and Pakistanis are being tight-lipped over the discussions, here are some questions and answers about the state of ties between the old Cold War foes, now facing a common threat from Islamist militancy.

    WHAT ARE THE UPS AND DOWNS OF PAKISTAN-RUSSIA TIES?

    Pakistan and Russia (formerly the Soviet Union) were on opposite sides during the Cold War, when Pakistan allied with the United States the Soviet Union backed Pakistan's main rival, India.

    The two were bitter enemies in the 1980s when Pakistan supported mujahideen guerrillas battling Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The Soviets were eventually forced to withdraw after 10-year occupation.

    Moscow and Islamabad remained rivals during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Russia, along with Iran and India, backed the then Northern Alliance against the Taliban, who were recognised only by Pakistan and two other Muslim countries.

    But ties have warmed since a 2003 visit by Pakistan's then military president, Pervez Musharraf -- the first by a Pakistani leader in 30 years. In recent years, Russia has pursued a more pragmatic foreign policy and sought closer ties with Pakistan.

    But Moscow has been careful not to harm relations with Pakistan's traditional foe India, a major arms client.

    WHAT ARE RUSSIA'S INTERESTS IN PAKISTAN?

    Russia is concerned about Pakistan as a source of Islamist militancy and potential nuclear proliferation. It suspects that Muslim extremists in Pakistani sanctuaries on the Afghan border have links with militants from the North Caucasus and other Muslim Russian regions. Pakistan, therefore, could be an important plank in any Russian strategy to stem a the spread of militancy into and across ex-Soviet Central Asia.

    One of Russia's specific concerns is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an al Qaeda ally that has found sanctuary for years in Pakistan's tribal regions. It is one of the leading Islamist militant groups in Central Asia.

    Russia is also jockeying for more regional influence ahead of an eventual departure, or at least drawdown, of U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan. It needs better relations with Pakistan, seen as an important player in any Afghan settlement, because of its influence over senior Taliban leaders.

    Security talks with Pakistan would also likely include cooperation against drug-trafficking, originating in Afghanistan and routed through Pakistan and Iran and on to markets in the Balkans and Europe. An increasing flow of Afghan heroin has contributed to a rise in HIV cases in Russia.

    IS PAKISTAN A MARKET FOR RUSSIAN WEAPONS?

    No one has yet said anything about any weapons sales to Pakistan being under consideration at the summit, but Russia aggressively seeks to boost arms sales abroad and has participated in defence exhibitions in Pakistan in the past.

    Pakistan has relied heavily on the United States and China for much of its defence needs, but would like to diversify its suppliers. Any arms sales would require delicate diplomacy, however. Russia is a big supplier of weapons and a key ally to rival India.

    Pakistan and India have fought three full-scale wars since independence in 1947.

    WHAT ABOUT ENERGY INTERESTS?

    Russia is interested in participating in a proposed gas pipeline leading from ex-Soviet Turkmenistan to India via Afghanistan and Pakistan. Turkmenistan is trying to diversity export routes, long dominated by Russia, and has been cool to the idea of Russian involvement.

    Moscow has in the past shown interest in a $7.6 billion gas pipeline project for export of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan, saying gas monopoly Gazprom was ready to help implement and finance the pipeline, expected to be completed by 2015. (Additional reporting by Steve Gutterman in Moscow; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Alex Richardson)

    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/qa-russian-pakistan-rivalry-giving-way-to-cooperation
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
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  3. JayATL

    JayATL Senior Member Senior Member

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    Look whose going there and for what reason. being the world's hotbed for terrorism, many leaders go there. It's not because of Pakistan is respected, rather embarrassing that countries visit it because they look at Pakistan like a nuisance state. Plus they are bankrupt, reports are- come April of this year they won't be able to pay many govt employees salaries.
     
  4. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    Still India should do whatever it can to divert Russians from thinking to take such step in future, that would be disaster for India.
     
  5. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    If Indians think that Russia will present great power status to us on a platter, then its our big misconception. They will not support us against China either, our main adversary. India must do whatever is in our best interest. Russians need our money to keep their defense production facilities running so they won't shoot in their own foot by selling arms to Pakistan. Rather than discussing about this topic we must discuss a potential alliance between India, Russia and France. Looks like an unexpected bonhomie between the two nations lately(Russia and France).
     
  6. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    That would be an alliance from where India will only gain but will have nothing to contribute i am afraid.
     
  7. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    How can you say so? Recently Sarkozy signed apparently some MOU to consider "aircraft production" (perhaps UCAV collaboration). Russia you already know. We have conducted numerous anti-piracy drills already. India is emerging as a manufacturing unit for French and possibly Russian companies already. Our technology might not be as mature as them but there can be trade at some level certainly. Our growing economy is itself a big contribution to their industries :D.

    You're underestimating our potential bro. :)
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    You're worrying too much. Most leaders go there not to sell but rather to repeat the words "Do more". LOL. Just when Ryabkov was heading there, look what happened at Domodedovo airport. Reports in the past have emerged that Chechen jihadists train in Pakistan's FATA and Waziristan areas especially during the early 2000s in suicide bomb making and other stuff they do. Another image blower. Remember, Russia doesn't sell offensive weaponry to our enemies.

    And besides how would Russians "sell" Pakistan something? Pakistan hardly buys anything in direct payment. Their defence stuff from China is on soft loan and zero interest payment, the US weapons is aid donation for WOT. Russians don't give freebies especially to such loose and doubtful states. Even France who is neutral on business, refused to give avionics package to Pakistan for JF-17 since Pakistan cannot pay hard cash for weapons. Recently Zardari was there in Germany to beg Merkel to "sell" them some weapons (now you know how) but little concrete came out of it. :D

    You think Putin is so naive as to actually ignore all these facts? :D
     
  9. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    Yo, can't we persuade the Russians and the French to co-develop and work togather on AMCA, i don't think France is currently having any plans of a 5G bird, so their contribution would be of prime importance to both us and them. And the Russians might get a medium category 5G bird, but they are pursuing LMFS project of single engined 5G bird.
     
  10. chex3009

    chex3009 Regular Member

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    I mean they are shameless bunch of lot, first during SCO, PM Gilani begged for Mi-17 and Mi-35 Gunships from President Medvedev and now this, don't they have any self-respect?
    They never let-go by and opportunity to beg for weapons, do they???
     

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