Mushahid hopes Pakistan can join BRICS with Russian support

MOSCOW: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence, Senator Mushahid Hussain has hoped that Pakistan could join the BRICS, an intergovernmental organisation being evolved into a cohesive geopolitical bloc, and welcomed ‘Russian goodwill for Pakistan’.

The Senator is visiting Russia on the invitation of the ruling ‘United Russia’ party, during which he met Former President Dmitri Medvedev (who’s number two to President Putin) and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a news release here received said.

He also attended the newly-formed International Forum for ‘Freedom of Nations’ where he was elected as a Member of the Forum’s 20-member Standing Committee. The Forum was organized by the United Russia party. Senator Hussain co-chaired the Forum’s plenary session where Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke and Senator Hussain had a comprehensive exchange with former President Dmitri Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia.

Senator Hussain and Dmitri Medvedev discussed Pakistan-Russia relations, the situation in Afghanistan, the war in Gaza, and the ‘unlimited possibilities for Pakistan-Russian collaboration in the region, particularly on energy & economic connectivity’, adding ‘Pakistan core interests are linked to this region, where Russia is a key factor’. Senator Hussain told Mr Medvedev that the probable election of President Trump in the US Presidential elections in November 2024 would qualitatively change the region’s geopolitics.

Senator Hussain said he found ‘tremendous goodwill’ for Pakistan in all official and popular circles in Moscow. During the visit, Senator Mushahid Hussain also delivered a lecture at the Russian Diplomatic Academy, the first prominent Pakistani to be invited to address the Diplomatic Academy in 50 years. The topic of the talk was ‘Pakistan and the changing regional scenario’.

Senator Hussain during his talk also highlighted the fact that there’s ‘no fundamental conflict of interest’ between Pakistan and Russia‘, therefore, ‘Pakistan has remained neutral on Ukraine, abstaining on voting in the United Nations on this issue’. He welcomed growing relations between Pakistan and Russia especially in the field of energy, connectivity, education, regional security including Afghanistan and cooperation at multilateral fora including SCO and UN.

He also expressed optimism on Pakistan joining BRICS with Russian cooperation, as Russia is Chair of BRICS in 2024. He said in the future four Muslim Middle Powers-Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia & Turkey, would play a decisive role in regional affairs.

He also appreciated President Putin’s stance on Islamophobia. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session from the students of the diplomatic academy. Senator Mushahid Hussain also met Senator Chizhov, President of the Russia-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group. Senator Mushahid Hussain also met leading members of the small Pakistani community in Moscow plus had several interviews with the Russian media.

Giving his impressions of his visit to Russia, Senator Mushahid Hussain met three fundamental points: a) both countries have ‘Strategic Space’ after ending of foreign intervention in Afghanistan, to build relations anew in various fields; b) Pakistan needs ‘Regional Reset’ in its foreign relations to take substantial initiatives for regional connectivity with Russia and other neighbouring countries; c) China is a common factor of unity & connectivity for Pakistan and Russia given both countries have close strategic ties with Beijing. Senator Mushahid Hussain was also invited to be part of International Observers who will visit to observe Presidential Elections during March 15-17, 2024.

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