Prime Minister Imran Khan has regretted escalation in the Russia Ukraine conflict and said that Pakistan hopes diplomacy could avert a military conflict, as he held a long meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

The meeting on Thursday lasted for more than three hours, during which they discussed Islamophobia, Afghanistan, bilateral, regional, and South Asian issues, among other “important matters”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The prime minister left for Islamabad after concluding his two-day visit to Moscow. 

The prime minister, according to a statement from the PM Office, stressed that conflict was not in anyone’s interest and that the developing countries were always hit the hardest economically in case of conflict.

“Pakistan believes that disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy,” the prime minister told the Russian president.

​Recalling the telephone conversations during the recent months between them, the prime minister expressed confidence that the positive trajectory of bilateral relations will continue to move forward in the future.

He said that the trust and cordiality marking the relationship would translate into further deepening and broadening of mutual cooperation in diverse fields.

The prime minister reaffirmed the importance of the Pakistan-Stream Gas Pipeline as a flagship economic project between Pakistan and Russia and also discussed cooperation on prospective energy-related projects.

PM Imran underscored Pakistan’s commitment to forging a long-term, multidimensional relationship with Russia.

AFGHAN SITUATION: The prime minister underlined the urgency of addressing the humanitarian crisis and preventing potential economic meltdown in Afghanistan.

The premier reiterated that Pakistan would continue to work with the international community for a stable, peaceful, and connected Afghanistan.

In this regard, he underscored the ongoing cooperation and coordination between Pakistan and Russia at various international and regional fora, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

INDIAN-OCCUPIED KASHMIR: ​The prime minister highlighted the serious human rights situation in Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) and underscored the imperative of peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

He also highlighted the developments detrimental to regional peace and stability and stressed the need for measures that would help keep the balance in the region.

Expressing concerns on rising trends of extremism and Islamophobia in the world, Prime Minister Imran stressed the need for interfaith harmony and coexistence.

Appreciating President Putin’s understanding of the respect and sensitivities that the Muslims attach to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the prime minister said that interfaith harmony and respect for all religions was imperative for peace and harmony within and among the societies.

Later, Prime Minister Imran met Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Valentinovich Novak and Minister for Energy of the Russian Federation Nikolay Shulginov.

Earlier in the day, PM Imran had laid a floral wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow in a tribute to the casualties of World War II.


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