Islamabad, August 8
For the first time, Pakistani soldiers will undergo training at Russian military institutes after the two countries signed an agreement related to it, in a sign of further strengthening their defence ties amid Islamabad’s increasingly uneasy relations with the United States.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the conclusion of the first meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), the highest forum of their defence collaboration, according to Pakistan’s defence ministry.
“Both countries signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in RF’s (Russian Federation) Training Institutes,” the ministry said.
The Russian side was led by Deputy Defence Minister Col Gen. Alexander V Fomin who visited Pakistan from August 6–7 to attend the first session of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC). Lt. Gen (retd) Zamir ul Hassan Shah, Secretary Defence, led the Pakistani delegation during the JMCC meeting.
The two sides discussed the present status of their defence relations with the aim to further strengthen, expand and diversify mutual cooperation.
During the inaugural session of the JMCC, both sides exchanged views on bilateral and major international issues including situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the ministry said. A comprehensive issue based review was also carried out during which the two countries expressed satisfaction on the milestones achieved since the signing of ground breaking Agreement on Defence Cooperation in 2014. The two sides also held in depth discussions on avenues of future cooperation, the defence ministry said.
Col Gen Fomin also met Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs. — PTI
Moving past bitter Cold War hostilities
n Pakistan’s defence ties with Russia have moved past the bitter Cold War hostilities in recent years and the chill in the relations between Pakistan and the US has further pushed the country towards Russia and China
n Defence and political analyst Dr Syed Farooq Hasnat said the agreement was an evident that Pakistan has come out of the US bloc. Pakistan has shown eagerness to build military-to-military ties with Russia in recent years
n Russia has over the past three years provided four Mi-35M combat and cargo helicopters to Pakistan and the militaries of the two countries also held joint drills codenamed ‘Friendship’
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