Given the realities of Russia’s increasing influence in Asia and Pakistan’s dependence on China for boasting its economy, Islamabad has been consistently working to improve its ties with both Russia and China.It is therefore obvious that Pakistan finds Russian President Vladimir Putin much favourable than US President Donald Trump who has ordered extreme vetting for Pakistanis visas.
Russia has been warming up to Pakistan,its cold war ally because of the convergence of their interests.On the other hand Islamabad is reducing its dependence on United States for war against terror as well as for any other diplomatic or strategic agenda .
Pakistan and Russia have been rivals in the past during the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as Pakistan had been a partner of the United States in the Cold War since the 1950s .Islamabad then built its 1973 policy of supporting dissident Islamists and Mujahideens against governments in Afghanistan.
Strategic shift is being seen in Russia-Pakistan relations in the face of the changing world order and global challenges .starting from 2011 when Putin publicly endorsed Pakistan’s bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, then Pakistan army chief Kayani visited Moscow in 2012, signed an agreement expanding defence and military ties,The COAS general Raheel Sharif paid a visit to Russia in 2015 and Moscow also signed a landmark deal including sale of four Mi-35 attack helicopter to Pakistan .The first joint military exercises between Russia and Pakistan named Druzhba-2016 also marks the growing military ties between the two countries.
As India sided with United States by signing military logistics pact , Russia is interested in joining China Pakistan Economic Corridor which will further strengthen Pakistan’s economy.
The regional group consisting of Russia, Pakistan ,Iran and China now considers growing influence of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Afghanistan a grave problem and threat to regional stability. The partners concluded that the Afghan problem cannot be resolved by military means only and new approaches like giving a legitimate role to Taliban in Afghan politics and delisting Afghan individuals from the UN sanctions list is a possible way to accomodate Taliban as a counter to ISIS.