National security advisers from Pakistan and Russia hold key security talks in Moscow

National security advisers from Pakistan and Russia hold key security talks in Moscow
Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Nasser Khan Janjua held talks with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Moscow during his two-day visit on April 22-23. (Photo courtesy: National Security Adviser Office)
Updated 24 April 2018

National security advisers from Pakistan and Russia hold key security talks in Moscow

National security advisers from Pakistan and Russia hold key security talks in Moscow
  • Two-day visit is a sign of closer ties between the two countries as US disappoints Islamabad with pro-India posture
  • Pakistan’s NSA gave an elaborate presentation to the bilateral forum on trends in global power politics

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistani and Russian security advisers who met in Moscow for their first ever ministerial security dialogue, have promised to continue to work together for peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Lt. Gen. (Retired) Nasser Khan Janjua held talks with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Moscow during his two-day visit on April 22-23, his office in Islamabad aid.

This was the first time that inter-ministerial level delegations, led by national security advisers of the two countries, had met. The timing of the meeting was also significant, coming during a marked thawing of relations between the Cold War era foes. 

Pakistan’s delegation included senior representatives from the National Security Division, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense Production, Strategic Plans Division (SPD), Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and Intelligence.

The presence of key defense organization members in the delegation points to potential discussions on Russian cooperation with Pakistan in all vital security and defense areas. The SPD deals with Pakistan’s missile system. Most of Pakistani missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The Russian delegation, led by Secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, included Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces of the Russian Federation, senior representatives from the Russian Security Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs, RosoboronExport (state exporter of Russian security products), Federal Security Services, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation and space agency RosCosmos.

In a statement late on Monday the NSA office said: “Both sides expressed their satisfaction at the positive trajectory and progression of mutual relationship at bilateral and multilateral levels ...

“Regional connectivity and prospects of closer cooperation in the fields of space, defense, security, economy and trade, cybersecurity, intelligence-sharing remained the main focus of the talks.”

Janjua gave a presentation on trends of global power politics and shared his strategic thinking about evolving security challenges around the globe. He also highlighted common opportunities for Russia and Pakistan.

Pakistani defense experts attribute the closer rapport of the two countries to a number of factors.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, said: “Thanks to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is the hub of regional connectivity linking up to China and Central Asia. Due to American pressure and the pro-India posture of Washington, Pakistan seems to be ending its reliance on the US, seeking fresh options. The opening up to Moscow is part of this process,” he told Arab News.

He added that Russia is also “disappointed with India’s growing and deepening pro-Americanism,” and Moscow therefore wants to move closer to Islamabad, in political and strategic ways, not just in trade.

Pakistan and Russia sealed a defense cooperation agreement in 2014 that revoked a longstanding Russian embargo on arms sales to Pakistan. Under the deal, Pakistan received four advanced attack helicopters (Mi-35M) from Russia in 2017.

A group of nearly 200 Russian soldiers conducted two-week joint military drills with Pakistan troops in Pakistan for the first time in 2016. Then in 2017, about 200 Pakistani troops joined their Russian counterparts in two-week exercise.

Reports suggest that a Russian trade delegation is due in Pakistan this week to discuss business opportunities. Russia is also currently involved in negotiations for investing in a pipeline in the southern Sindh province.

Pakistan is an active member of the Russian regional peace initiative known as Moscow Format, pushing for a political solution to the Afghan conflict.

The security advisers’ meeting coincided with the visit to Moscow by Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for talks on cooperation between the security forces, military sources said. General Bajwa will hold talks with his Russian counterpart and other defense officials, sources told Arab News.