High-level defence contacts between Russia and Pakistan included a visit to Moscow (August 9) by General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the 1st session of Russia-Pakistan Military Consultative Committee on Defence and Security Issues (August 6-7) in Pakistan at the level of Deputy Defence Ministers.

General Hayat was hosted by the Valdai Club (which organizes President Putin’s annual interactions with domestic and foreign strategic analysts). The discussions were reported to have covered strategic stability in South Asia, Pakistan’s anxiety about India’s BMD development, its advocacy of dialogue with Taliban and its keenness to advance military-technical cooperation with Russia.

On the Defence Consultative Committee meeting in Pakistan, it was reported that both military and military-technical cooperation were discussed. The Russian media reported, quoting background briefings, that, while military cooperation was developing (including joint anti-terrorist exercises), “military-technical cooperation” has not gone beyond the delivery of four Mi-35M helicopters in 2016-17. Pakistan was reported to have expressed interest in a variety of platforms, including Su-35 aircraft, more Mi-35M helicopters, transport helicopters and a variety of small arms, but none of these is under contemplation. Russian sources told the media that Russia would not “put big deals with India at risk in order to supply a rather limited range of weapons to Pakistan”.

 

 August 30, 2018

About the Author

Born in 1955, Ambassador Raghavan holds a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Physics and a B.E. in Electronics & Communications Engineering. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1979. From 1979 to 2000, he had diplomatic assignments in USSR, Poland, United Kingdom, Vietnam and South Africa, interspersed with assignments in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi. From 2000 to 2004, he was Joint Secretary in the Indian Prime Minister's Office dealing with Foreign Affairs, Nuclear Energy, Space, Defence and National Security. Thereafter, he was Ambassador of India to Czech Republic (2004 - 2007) and to Ireland (2007 - 2011).

He was Chief Coordinator of the BRICS Summit in New Delhi (March 2012) and Special Envoy of the Government of India to Sudan and South Sudan (2012-13). Ambassador Raghavan conceptualized and piloted the creation of the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in MEA, which implements and monitors India’s economic partnership programs in developing countries, with an annual budget of $1-1.5 billion. He headed DPA in 2012-13. From March 2013 to January 2014, he oversaw the functioning of the Administration, Security, Information Technology and other related Divisions of MEA. Since October 2013, he was also Secretary [Economic Relations] in MEA, steering India’s bilateral and multilateral external economic engagement. Ambassador Raghavan retired from the Indian Foreign Service in January 2016, after serving from 2014 as Ambassador of India to Russia. Since September 2016, he is Convenor of the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India.