Imran Khan says Cold War is over, mulling arms deal with Moscow
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that his government has been mulling purchase of arms from Moscow, given the fact that the Cold War was long over.
Khan said so in an interview with Russian news agency Sputnik before heading to Kyrgyzstan for the 19th SCO Summit.
Asked about military cooperation between Pakistan and Russia and joint drills later this year, he said they had developed cooperation with Russia, between their defence forces, and hoped to deepen their contacts.
“Most of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were spent in the Cold War region, where India was close to the Soviet Union, and Pakistan was close to the United States. We were in different camps. Now things have changed,” the Pakistan premier said.
“India is also friendly with the United States, and Pakistan is also friendly with the US. So we no longer have the Cold War situation. It is refreshing that we have developed our contacts with Russia, and they are developing all the time.”
Responding to a question about import of Russian weapons, he said, “As I’ve said, once the Cold War was over. Previously Pakistan was tied to the US, and, as we all know, India was tied to the Soviet Union. And no longer is that situation there. First, we hope that our tension with India decreases, so we do not have to buy arms because we want to spend money on human development”.
“But, yes, we are looking for arms from Russia, and I know our military is already in touch with the Russian military,” Khan commented.
Regarding the prospects of Pak-Russia cooperation within the SCO, he said they look forward to have exchanges, develop more contacts and improve their trade.
“Russia is an energy-surplus country. Pakistan has shortages in energy, so we hope to talk on those areas. We already are. Apart from defence, we want to also improve our trade in other areas with Russia,” the prime minister said.
“We hope our trade delegations will soon go to Russia. We will invite Russian trade delegations here, get them opportunities to invest in Pakistan. I do believe that there is a Russian steel company, which is looking to invest in our steel mill in Karachi. In fact, it was made by Russia.”
About the prospect of SCO participation being helpful in improving Pak-India relations, he said it is improving relationship with all the countries in the SCO areas.