SLAMABAD: With the trough in Pakistan-US ties experiencing an extended run this year, Islamabad and Moscow have quietly been busy in trying to reinvent their relations. The two are currently readying to hold the second session of their inter-governmental commission, constituted to promote bilateral cooperation.The minister-level commission is expected to meet in November in Islamabad for the second consecutive year, indicating that the two countries are attaching considerable importance to the initiative.The focus of the meeting will be on economic cooperation, but both sides also want to forge a strategic partnership.Recent regional developments have forced Pakistan and Russia to cosy up to each other. Russia wants to get more involved in regional affairs as it is wary of the growing influence of the US and Nato in the region. It also knows that Pakistan can play a key role in the Afghan endgame.Better relations with Moscow suit Islamabad’s long-term strategic interests as it seeks to diversify resources needed for meeting its economic, energy and defence requirements, particularly in view of continuing problems with Washington that has hitherto been its biggest supplier.
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