Credibility of Pak's anti-terror moves growing, says Russian envoy

The credibility of Pak's anti-terror moves growing, says Russian ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, on Monday said that Pakistan's credibility was growing and its wish to join the regional and global fight against terror must be recognised. Picture courtesy Twitter

The credibility of Pak's anti-terror moves growing, says Russian ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, on Monday said that Pakistan's credibility was growing and its wish to join the regional and global fight against terror must be recognised.

“The credibility of this country (Pakistan) is growing after it joined the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and started to take serious measures (against) financing of terror,” Kudashev said in response to a question at an event in New Delhi.

"There is no reason, no sense to deny its wish to be part of the regional and global effort to fight terror, to search for stability and enhanced economic integration,” he said. 

His comment came at a time when Moscow's growing ties with Islamabad, particularly in the defence sector, caused unease in New Delhi. Citing decades-old and time-tested strategic relations between India and Russia, New Delhi has been nudging Moscow not to scale up its ties with Islamabad.

Moscow, however, continued to add momentum to its ties with Islamabad and purportedly started supplying Russian MI-35 attack helicopters to Pakistan of late.

Kudashev described Pakistan as a “historic and important regional partner” of Russia. He, however, stressed that Russia's relations with India was “unique”. He said that Russia was not seeking to step up its ties with Pakistan at the cost of its decades-old relations with India.

“These ties (between Russia and Pakistan) are not emanating from the regional balance of power equations, but growing on their own merits,” he said. “They got new impetus since Islamabad has become SCO member-state, and it is in the interest of regional stability to help Pakistanis as well as Indians to effectively adjust themselves to the new forms of cooperation offered by the SCO and to enhance their anti-terrorism capacity.”

India and Pakistan in June 2017 formally joined the SCO, which China and Russia have been projecting as a counterweight to US-led North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Asia.

Contradicts India

The comment by the Russian ambassador contradicted New Delhi's view on counter-terrorism operations by Pakistan. New Delhi has been alleging that Islamabad was selectively acting against only a few terrorist organisations while using outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed to export terror to India.

India, of late, joined the United States, France and the United Kingdom to highlight Pakistan's failure to stop the flow of funds to terror organisations. The Financial Action Task Force – an inter-governmental organisation – recently asked Pakistan Government to draw up a plan by June to tighten its measures to stop the flow of funds to terrorists.

Kudashev also said that Russia would support a dialogue between India and Pakistan if requested by both the countries. “No doubt, that existing disagreements between India and Pakistan should be resolved politically and diplomatically, according to the provisions of the 1972 Shimla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration. We believe in dialogue, and stand ready to support it, if requested by both sides,” Moscow's envoy said.

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