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