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Russia to provide counter-terrorism training to Pakistan

November 21, 2014

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Photo from Nov 20, 2014, shows Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) with Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoy (L).—AFP
Photo from Nov 20, 2014, shows Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) with Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoy (L).—AFP

ISLAMABAD: Russia has accepted Pakistan’s request for cooperation in combating terrorism and has offered advanced counter-terrorism training to military and law enforcement agencies at its premier institutions, defence sources said Friday.

Highly-placed defence sources told Dawn.com that the matter was discussed by Pakistani officials during their talks with Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Pakistan earlier this week.

The development follows the signing of what the Pakistani defence ministry described as a “milestone” military cooperation pact with Russia aimed at bringing peace and stability to the region.

A defence ministry statement said the pact came at “a very critical juncture when US-led NATO forces are drawing down from Afghanistan by the end of 2014”.

Also read: Pakistan, Russia sign landmark defence cooperation agreement

Sources told Dawn.com today that Pakistan took the Russian defence minister into confidence over its ongoing fight against terrorism in the tribal areas and elsewhere and sought Russian assistance for combating militants and dismantling their terrorist networks for which Russian gave green signal.

Russia will also extend cooperation to Pakistan in countering production and trafficking of narcotics, which Pakistani defence officials believe is major source of income for terror organisations, the sources said.

Russia has long been the largest supplier of arms to neighbouring nuclear-armed India, which is the world’s top arms buyer.

In June, Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency reported that the country had lifted its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan and was holding talks on supplying Islamabad with combat helicopters.