Executive Director CISS visited Moscow April 3-5, 2018 at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Defence, to attend the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), in which our Minister for Defence Mr. Khurram Dastgir, made a statement on Pakistan’s major defence and security policy, alongwith a number of other Defence Ministers of participating countries. I was invited to speak in a discussion on “Soft Power as a tool to pursue military in political objectives”. The other Pakistani participant in the discussion session was Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Asad Durrani. In his intervention, he highlighted Pakistan’s “soft power” initiatives in various foreign countries and international for a.
During his stay in Moscow, ED established contact with 3 major Russian Think Tanks:
ED visited the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and met with the Deputy Director of Programs, Timur Mukhmutov, and Program Coordinator Ruslan Mamedov, who is well-versed in Pakistan’s foreign policy and has visited Pakistan last year. He introduced CISS and its activities and they briefed him on the work being done by them. ED discussed the possibilities of cooperation in various areas of activities. Mr. Ruslan Mamedov will follow up on these matters during his next visit to Pakistan later this year. (Minutes of the meeting will be forwarded when received from our Embassy in Moscow).
ED CISS visited the Institute of Oriental Studies in the Russian Academy of Sciences and met the Director of the Centre of Pakistan Studies, Dr. Sergey Kamenev, a well-known Russian Scholar on Pakistan. He was assisted by Dr. Irina N. Serenko, Senior Scholar of Pakistan Studies Centre and Ms. Maria Khaytseva, Research Associate in the Pakistan Studies Centre. After introduction of respective institutions, Dr. Kamenev and his associates raised a number of issues relating to Pakistan. Dr. Irina asked ED’s views on Afghanistan, and ED emphasized the need for a negotiated settlement, rather than the pursuit of a military solution. ED called for Russian efforts towards promoting end instituting a peace process in Afghanistan (Detailed minutes of the meeting being prepared by Pakistan Embassy official in Moscow and will be forwarded on receipt).
ED CISS visited the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) and met the head of Asia and Asia-Pacific Region (APR) Center, Dr. Kokarev. He was assisted by Mr. Vladimir Svedentsov, Senior Research Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Region Centre and Mrs. Anna Y. Dudar Assistant Director. After mutual introductions of the two sides, a wide-ranging discussion on Pakistan’s foreign policy took place. ED addressed questions raised by the Russian team. Dr. Kokarev expressed keen interest in establishing APR fellowship program with CISS. The RISS Center would be forwarding a draft MoU to CISS for giving practical shape to cooperation between the two sides. Possibility of visit of a Russian scholar to Pakistan to work with a Pakistani counterpart on a book project was also discussed. (Minutes of the meeting being prepared by Mr. Mubashir Second Secretary, Pakistan Embassy Moscow and will be forwarded when received).
All the three meetings were very useful as they laid the foundation of development of bilateral cooperation in regard to matters of common interest. ED requested Ambassador Qazi Khalilullah to have the Embassy follow up on these meetings.