Pak-Russia cooperation growing in many directions, says honourary consul


LAHORE: Russia’s Honourary Consul Habib Ahmed has said the cooperation between both Islamabad and Moscow is developing in many directions as Russia has already announced embarking on new ventures with Pakistan.

“Best bilateral ties are being enjoyed by Pakistan and Russia as there is no more a defence embargo,” he said while talking to journalists at the Honourary Consulate of the Russian Federation on Monday.

In the last several meetings, Islamabad and Moscow held in-depth discussions on avenues of future cooperation.

The honourary consul said that the Pakistani government must work to improve and maintain relations with the Russian administration. “Pakistan’s policymakers must engage with their Russian counterparts to make the relationship even more balanced and trustworthy,” he said, adding Russia praises Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace and was determined to give practical assistance to the South Asian nation.

To a question, Habib Ahmed credited improved relations to regular exchanges of high-level delegations between Pakistan and Russia. He also said that the volume of bilateral trade has increased and Russia was working to help Pakistan build about 1,100-kilometre gas pipeline linking Karachi to Lahore.

To another question, he said the Russian companies had already developed different projects in Pakistan.

He also announced a Language Centre at Russia’s Honourary Consulate in Lahore to assist students and other professionals in learning Russian. “I believe that learning Russian will break the language barrier and give a chance to professionals, especially businesspersons and students, to approach and explore Russia easily,” he said.

Consulate representative Imtiazul Haq, who will teach Russian at the centre, also informed the journalists that the centre will start language classes from Wednesday (February 6). Initially, the centre will open its classes twice a week, he said. “We are receiving a huge response from the people who are keen to learn the Russian language.”

In the first phase, 25 to 30 people will be invited to learn Russian at the centre, he said, adding that the capacity of the classes will be expanded accordingly in the second phase.

“We are really happy that young people are showing their interest in learning Russian to explore and know more about Russia.”

Also, Honourary Consul Habib Ahmed announced that the consulate will arrange the much-awaited Russian Film Festival from next month as a regular monthly feature. The festival will showcase the latest in Russian contemporary cinema. “I assure the local audience that they will get a chance to watch the most interesting and exciting films to look out for,” he said.