Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan begins his two-day maiden visit to Russia on Wednesday, the first such journey by a Pakistani prime minister in 23 years.
Imran Khan will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit. It is the first time since 1999 that a Pakistani prime minister has visited Russia.
This comes after reports emerged last month that Moscow and Islamabad are in talks to finalize a plan for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit this year.
The Pakistani newspaper had said Putin’s visit had been under discussion for the past two years but could not take place for various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Moscow also wants “big ticket projects” or other initiatives that the Russian president would announce when he finally makes the trip to Pakistan.
Prior to Imran Khan’s visit to Russia, a Pakistani geopolitical analyst had pointed out that the visit was not timely. Analyst and Balochistan politician Jan Achakzai said the most striking aspect of this visit is that Russia was not inviting, but an invitation was sought.
“And even more so in an environment where Putin has already called Prime Minister Modi to express his gratitude for India’s support for Russia in the UN Security Council – a temporary position India has held because the diplomatic consensus in Islamabad voted for Delhi,” said Achakzai. wrote in the Pakistani newspaper The News International.
Achakzai noted that Russia did not seek Pakistan’s support, nor did the US stop Pakistan from going to Moscow.
“Is it Pakistan’s irrelevance or a clear reading from the US that we will come back from Russia empty-handed and from a position of further weakness beg for financial concessions from Washington in forums like the IMF, the FATF, etc.?” he had asked.
According to Achakzai, Russia will not give Pakistan anything because Moscow loses India because of Islamabad’s support is not an option. “Pakistan’s support comes at the cost of frequent requests for aid and loans.”