Pakistan Is Winning India’s Traditional Ally Russia – OpEd


For the last 70 years India and Russia have remained friends supporting each other, signing lucrative military deals and deepening their bilateral relations on international diplomatic forums. But since  2016 their bilateral relations have not been on smooth keels.

It is pertinent to discuss here that it is the global relations because of which Russia is losing interests in its long term ally and inclined towards Pakistan. According to many observers Russia is very keen about foreign relations on long-term basis.

As Russia is well aware about China-Pakistan long term relations and never intended to hurt its partners, so after the West’s imposed sanctions after the Crimea’s annexation, Russia was seeking strategic partners and the reproached towards China.

Furthermore, India’s new generation is more attractive for US. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, there are 70% Indians looking favorably US and 43% were looking Russia who was supporting India both militarily and diplomatically since last 70 years. According to same survey, there are 8% Indians look negatively US and 16% were negative towards Russia. so it can be said that Russia is losing its trust-worthiness in India despite of the fact that Russia is continue to be the key supplier of military weapons to India.

However, Putin is the master mind of long term plans in relations with other countries, eventually he moved towards the favorable relations with Pakistan. The equation of Russia’s relations with South Asian region reveals that where on one side Pakistan is India’s traditional rival and trust worthy friend of China, and the rapprochement of Russia towards China with the bonus factor of China’s opposition to US and its global views gives Pakistan more strategic importance.

Russia also supported Pakistan on the last BRIC’s Summit in Goa in the matter of India’s allegations of sponsored terrorism. Recent examples of Russia-Pakistan are 3 joint military drills since 2014; 2 naval drills (Arabian Monsoon 2014 and Arabian Monsoon 2015) and one is Druzbha 2016 and one is expected in 2017. Both Russia and Pakistan are reportedly holding negotiations on the purchase of Russian S-35 war- planes. Last year, Pakistan bought four Mi-35 helicopter gunships from Russia and in the 12 months, Pakistani army officials have visited Russia on a regular basis searching for new military deals.

As a result, Russian arms manufacturers are persistently increasing their reach to sell their military equipment. And Pakistan is the seventh importer of defense equipment.

Regarding these developments, India has serious concerns as India’s ambassador to Russia, Pankaj Saran, said, “Russia’s military cooperation with Pakistan which is a State that sponsors and practices terrorism as a matter of State policy is a wrong approach and it will only create further problems.”

Simultaneously India must be careful about such statements as India’s deliberations for the purchase of Russian S-400, stealth frigates and second nuclear submarine from the latter. On the other side, India does not want to lose Russia’s new military weapons as it is reportedly intended to pay a whopping $5 billion to get Russia’s revolutionary S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system which is one of the most advanced antimissile systems in the whole world. It is a true time to say that Pakistan is winning a lot having two allies Russia and China both simultaneously. However Russia and China are giving some prospects to Pakistan of becoming stronger nation. in the South Asia’s geostrategic fulcrum China’s is keen towards Russia’s joining in the recent significant development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Li Xing has written that, “Russia’s participation in the CPEC, including the use of the Gwadar Port, could give a boost to Sino-Russian cooperation and be a demonstration project of One Belt and One Road (OBOR) that will enhance future multinational cooperation”.

According to some observers China’s eagerness for Russia’s joining in CPEC is merely to appease or calm India which is openly opposing CPEC claiming that it passes through their held or occupied territories. As CPEC is part of China’s vision for the next era of globalization and help its export and investment engines run for years in coming future. On international forum China has openly opposed India’s deliberations in getting participation in Nuclear Supplier Group. One could be optimistic that Russia could play a convincing role in smoothing India-Pakistan bilateral relations that would be the catalyst for the markets in the region.

In the recent developments Pakistan has approved a Russian interest for using the Gwadar Port, for its exports and on the other side media reports were swirling that Russia planned to merge the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with the CPEC.

In nutshell, the contemporary international political scenario depicts that the whole realignment of global powers in South Asia is favorable for Pakistan if Pakistan would be well aware of its economic, military and fiscal policies in coming future to become the influential and integral part of the upcoming multi-polar new world order with all these developments otherwise it would be a catastrophe for Pakistan if it would be grasped in the major powers’ power politics.

*Asia Maqsood is Research Associate at Strategic Vision Institute Islamabad.

5 thoughts on “Pakistan Is Winning India’s Traditional Ally Russia – OpEd

  • August 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    According to the recent IMF report released in July, Pakistan’s economy will subside in 2017 and will see only a marginal increase until 2020. Not a great sign for pakistan’s defense budget. Not only this, the world as well as the Russians know the political situation in democratically elected leader has ever been able to complete his full term in office, ever since Pakistan came into existence. Combining this with recent bomb attacks in Pakistan the current internal situation of Pakistan appears to be worse than North Korea. Taking all these factors into consideration, it is natural that any superpower would be apprehensive siding with a country like Pakistan in South Asia and that too ignoring a country like india. Russians are not fools and they know which side of their bread is buttered, contrary to what this author may like to believe. India is not only a stable democracy with a rising geo-political clout but is the fastest growing economy in the world with a GDP several times more than that of Pakistan. By ignoring India you would be ignoring a multi billion dollar market to sell your goods and products. And Russia just like the US, Israel France and UK knows this pretty well. Geo-politics and international relations are not guided by “looks” but by real core interests such as trade, economy, diplomatic support. And in all these criteria, India scores way higher than Pakistan thus making it lucrative and more preferable over any other S.Asian country, as is quite evident.

  • August 1, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Pakistan GDP is lower than that of the Mumbai (City of Bharat) and Russ is not fool to break a relation with the country which can give more business than one bankrupt country which is going to sink soon in international debt.

  • August 2, 2017 at 5:07 am

    I think the issue is bigger than the whole mine is bigger than yours discussion taking place here. It’s about positioning for the next major geostrategic and economic adjustment that’s taking place in this region. Pakistan has thrown its lot with the Chinese and it will be interesting to see how this pans out. As far as the economy panning is concerned. Pakistan’s position is too important and its informal economy clearly indicates there are a lot of finances flowing in and out. Trick is tapping it in the long run and making sure it goes where it needs to within a formalized and acceptable framework.

    Democracy is also not just about voting in the corrupt idiots, bigots, zealots and the populist vote, it’s also about holding them accountable, something the Indians and seem to have forgotten in the short run.

  • August 14, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Modi has positioned India as Americas new client. China, Russia, Pakistan and even Iran want to shave away American influence in the region. India is in decline big time. 600 million Indians don’t even have toilets! They claim to be a democracy but have ruled by ONE POLITICAL PARTY for 80% of their existence as a nation. And secular? Please! Modi and RSS have taken over and Modi will make India a Hindu Pakistan. And funny things is Pakistan is moving in the opposite direction now lol. Indians weep weep and weep.

  • August 19, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    India and Russia can be friends but they can’t be allies. Pakistan and Russia can be allies because they share a common culture & common threats. India was just using Russia because it wanted to boost its military as the Russia weapons & equipment are cheaper in price if compared with the western & American.


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