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Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif. – File Photo
Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Thursday said Pakistan would improve its bilateral relations with Russian Federation in all fields including trade, economic and defence.

Speaking to media representatives after attending a ceremony to mark the Day of Russia at a local hotel here, he confirmed that Pakistan was interested to buy MI-35 helicopters from Russia.

The defence minister said that Pakistan will buy “such important and useful helicopters besides some “necessary military equipment.”

  Russian MI-35 military helicopter. – Photo Wikimedia commons
Russian MI-35 military helicopter. – Photo Wikimedia commons

He said the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has adopted a foreign policy to improve its relations with all the countries, based on mutual respect and honour.

Khawaja Asif said Pakistan will further improve its ties with Russian Federation in future and there will be exchange of delegations at various levels in this regard.

Earlier, a large number of people from different walks of life including diplomats, parliamentarians and journalists attended the reception hosted by Russian ambassador Alexey Dedov.

Defence Minister Asif was the chief guest on the occasion which was also attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi.

National anthems of the two countries were played while a cake was cut by the chief guest and Ambassador Dedov along with some other guests.

Special Russian and Pakistani food was served to the guests on the occasion.

Earlier this week, the Russian envoy had said that there was never any ban on the sale of Russian military equipment to Pakistan.

He said, “There is ongoing cooperation with Pakistan in the field of defence and counter-terrorism and security.”

“The proposed deal on supply of MI-35 to Pakistan is still being negotiated between Russian and Pakistani defence officials, and hopefully would be finalised soon,” the ambassador said.

Related: Russia lifts arms embargo to Pakistan: report

He said that Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz would be visiting Russia to participate in an international meeting of high-level officials responsible for security matters from June 18 to 20 and will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during the visit.

Dedov reiterated the desire of the Russian Federation to strengthen its bilateral relations with Pakistan in all spheres.

DAWN_VIDEO - /1029551/DAWN-RM-1x1

Comments (10) Closed

Mateen Jun 13, 2014 12:48am

Several decades of feetkissing the United States to get 2nd class F-16s while we could have gotten superior Su-27s which even rival modern 4th and 5th aircraft in performance...

Abdul razzak surahio Jun 13, 2014 02:31am

good and an appreciating step by pak government

omer khan shaheen Jun 13, 2014 02:50am

It is always good to have strong relationship with neighboring countries. Ideally all of them!

Shahid Jun 13, 2014 03:29am

@Mateen | Dear Mateen please get your facts straight.

1: F-16s are NOT 2nd class jets and we didn't GET them from the US, we 'bought' ALL of them. 2: Su-27 has two engines and is considered a failure of an aircraft. It can be detected from 400kms away on radar. 3: Su-27 cannot rival 5th Generation aircraft. 4: MI-35s are a wise purchase as its the only 'Assault' Helicopter in the world. Army is buying it because its very well protected, can take small, medium arms fire, carries 8 fully geared SSGs, blast its way in, drop them, hang around and provide Close Air Support, pick them up when the mission is done and the casualties and then fight its way back. Its a flying IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). Army's philosophy is to use them for special operations while Cobras provide fire support and precision strikes.

Faisal Jun 13, 2014 04:08am

@Mateen Pakistan has no cash to buy expensive equipment. This is going to be an order of about 8-10 copters. We can't buy J-10s from China because of budgetary constraints buying SU planes is out of question. Russia will never sell us anything which is at par or superior to what they have supplied India.

Aussie Jun 13, 2014 05:05am

Time for kickbacks for him and Nawaz.

SYED ADNAN SHAFQAT Jun 13, 2014 09:07am

The only matter is having multi vendors, we Pakistan also just a buyer for USA. So we also can choose our suppliers as and how we want right?

Banking on one vendor is not appropriate, we dont enjoy the taste of variety in that context.

Dr. Mohammad Manoj Kuma Gunndal Jun 13, 2014 10:23am

Money that should have gone for education will now be squandered in sense less spending. Get ready for crashes and also be ready for a whole lot more shaheeds in helicopter crashes.

aks Jun 13, 2014 02:31pm

Why get equipment from russia when our all weather friend china can provide them cheaper , but we should give them some more land apart from akasai chin as token of appreciation.

viper Jun 14, 2014 05:29am

@aks Chinese helicopters specially the gunships are still no match for the Russian options. Thats why back in 80s we did not fill the whole airforce with F-6 and A-5 (though way cheaper). We had to buy F-16s because Chinese aircrafts were no where near the US technology.