Mon, 23 May 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 24 (ANI): Moscow and Islamabad are in talks to finalize the plan for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Pakistan this year, a media report said on Sunday.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has already extended a formal invitation to Putin, The Express Tribune newspaper said in its report, adding that Imran Khan reiterated the invitation to him during his telephonic conversation this month.

The Pakistani newspaper said Putin's visit was under discussion for the last two years but could not materialize because of several reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, Moscow also wants that there must be "big-ticket projects" or other initiatives that the Russian president would announce when he finally undertakes the trip to Pakistan.

Last year, Pakistan and Russia had signed an agreement for the construction of a 1,100 km gas pipeline from Port Qasim in Karachi to Lahore.

The Pakistan media report said that the signing of the Pakistan Steam Gas Pipeline in July last year has brightened the prospects of Putin's visit to Pakistan.

Pakistan is keen that President Putin inaugurates the more than USD 2 billion gas pipeline project and wants Russian companies to lay the pipeline from Karachi to Kasur.

This project, according to the newspaper, is a flagship project that Moscow and Islamabad intend to undertake and enter into a new era of bilateral ties. The project not only had economic but strategic significance for Pakistan, the Tribune report added citing officials familiar with the development.

It further said Pakistan wanted to broaden ties with Russia as part of its efforts to diversify its foreign policy options. (ANI)

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