Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is preparing for a visit to Russia. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will go on an important visit to Russia at the end of February. According to Pakistani media, this will be the first visit of a Pakistani top leadership to Russia in more than 20 years in which he will meet Vladimir Putin. The Express Tribune quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Imran Khan will visit Russia from February 23 to 26.
This visit of Imran Khan is to be done after his visit to China. Imran Khan will go to Russia after attending the Beijing Olympics where he met many Chinese leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Putin also attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The US, Europe and many Western countries are boycotting the Games due to alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang in China. Here Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Khan is avoiding the confirmation of Imran Khan’s visit to Russia. He said that the matter should be discussed with the Ministry of External Affairs. A Foreign Ministry statement said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is looking forward to the visit of Russian President Putin to Pakistan and that he himself will also visit Russia at the right time.
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Imran Khan’s visit to Russia is a clear signal to western countries. Imran Khan had categorically refused to allow the US to build a military base in Pakistan after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, as well as did not pick up the phone after Biden became president in 2021. A diplomat said on the condition of anonymity that due to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, tensions have increased in Russia and Western countries, so this visit of Imran Khan becomes more important. He said that bilateral relations and regional and international cooperation between the two countries will be discussed during this visit.
Last month, there were reports that Islamabad and Russia are preparing for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pakistan this year. Both the countries have been conducting joint military exercises since 2016 which testify to the growing relations between Russia and Pakistan. Also, on international issues like Afghanistan, both Pakistan and Russia have similar views.