Rejecting criticism on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Russia, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that it was a well-thought-out trip.
Addressing a press briefing on Friday regarding the premier’s “historic” visit to Moscow, he said the situation in Russia and Ukraine was reviewed at the Prime Minister’s Office where detailed consultation was held regarding the tour.
Four diplomats were also present in the meeting and the route was determined after which the prime minister and his delegation left for Russia.
“After consultation, we decided to proceed as our plan,” he said.
Qureshi said that the main focus of the visit to Russia was enhancing energy cooperation, adding that during the trip, Pakistan emphasised on prospects of increasing bilateral cooperation in energy and trade.
“We expressed interest in buying gas from Russia and for setting up an LNG terminal in Gwadar,” he added.
The minister said that a discussion was held on Pakistan Gas Stream Project.
“We also expressed interest in the extension of Uzbekistan’s gas pipeline to Pakistan,” he continued.
Qureshi said that during PM Imran’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two leaders discussed the situation in Afghanistan.
The foreign minister said that Pakistan has defined goals in the case of Afghanistan, which is how to protect Afghanistan from the humanitarian crisis.
“The third meeting regarding the Afghan issue will be held in China by the end of March,” he said, adding that Russia has also been invited to the meeting.
The first two meetings in this regard were held in Islamabad and Tehran.
Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan fully utilised the opportunity and raised the Afghanistan issue, saying that Pakistan’s foreign policy focuses on enhancing regional cooperation.
“Kashmir issue was also discussed during the meeting,” he said, adding that the topic of islamophobia was also raised by the premier.
He said that before embarking on Russia’s trip, Pakistan had informed the United States of its point of view.
“Pakistan is aware of international sanctions on Russia,” he added.