Islamabad (Adnan Hameed): Senator Mushahid Hussain, Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee, embarked on a diplomatic visit to Russia at the invitation of the ruling ‘United Russia’ party. During his stay, Senator Hussain engaged in high-profile meetings with Former President Dmitri Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow.

Senator Hussain actively participated in the newly-formed International Forum for ‘Freedom of Nations,’ organized by the United Russia party, where he was elected as a Member of the Forum’s 20-member Standing Committee. Co-chairing the Forum’s plenary session alongside Foreign Minister Lavrov, Senator Hussain had a comprehensive exchange with Mr. Medvedev, now Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia. Discussions covered Pakistan-Russia relations, the situation in Afghanistan, the war in Gaza, and the potential for Pakistan-Russian collaboration, particularly in energy and economic connectivity. Senator Hussain emphasized that Pakistan’s core interests are intricately linked to the region, where Russia plays a pivotal role.

In a historic move, Senator Mushahid Hussain delivered a lecture at the Russian Diplomatic Academy, becoming the first prominent Pakistani to address the academy in 50 years. The lecture focused on ‘Pakistan and the changing regional scenario,’ highlighting the absence of fundamental conflicts of interest between Pakistan and Russia. Senator Hussain expressed optimism about growing relations in energy, connectivity, education, regional security, and cooperation at multilateral fora, including SCO and UN. He also conveyed hope for Pakistan to join BRICS with Russian cooperation, given Russia’s chairmanship in 2024.

During his visit, Senator Hussain engaged with Senator Chizhov, President of the Russia-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, and met with members of the Pakistani community in Moscow. His impressions emphasized the strategic space for building relations between the two countries post the end of foreign intervention in Afghanistan. He stressed the need for a regional reset in Pakistan’s foreign relations for substantial initiatives in regional connectivity with Russia and neighboring countries. Additionally, Senator Hussain highlighted China as a common factor of unity and connectivity for both Pakistan and Russia.

Senator Mushahid Hussain was invited to be part of International Observers visiting to observe the Presidential Elections during March 15-17, 2024.

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