Envoy for taking Pak-Russia ties to new heights

* Minister for defence production invites Russian companies to invest in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s honorary consul to Russia Habib Ahmad hosted a welcome diner in the honour of new Ambassador of Russian Federation Alexey Dedov the other day at a local hotel.
Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Board of Investment Chairman Mohammad Zubair, a number of ambassadors, parliamentarians, businessmen, senior government officials and civil society activists attended the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Habib Ahmad said, “I thank all of you for sparing your precious time to attend this reception in honour of his excellency, the ambassador.”
He said that the appointment of Alexey Dedov as the ambassador to Pakistan in the present scenario was of great significance. 
“We are facing energy crisis, terrorism, extremism, and economic crisis. I am sure, his excellency, you will play a vital role in helping us in overcoming these crises.” He said that relations between both the countries were marked by mutual understanding on important political and security issues with commencement of cooperation in various fields. 
“Pakistan’s progress and prosperity is linked to regional peace and stability, and also depend upon close cooperation with regional countries and the international community. Both the countries have immense potential for economic and commercial relations.”
He said that Pakistan was facing great challenges like natural calamities, energy crisis and terrorism. “Despite all the crises, the democratic government is committed to reviving the economy and eliminating militancy and terrorism,” he said. “I am sure that with the common efforts, we will be able to overcome these crises.”
Habib Ahmad said that the two countries celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Pak-Russia diplomatic relations in Islamabad and Lahore. “Today again the presence of all the distinguished guests is a message of friendship between the two countries.” 
He said that Alexey Dedov could play a very important and pivotal role in enhancing the political and socio-economic relations between the two countries. 
Addressing the gathering, Rana Tanveer Hussain said that the growing attention of Pakistani society, business community, parliamentarian and the governments for reconstruction of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the Russian Federation were really important for the nation.
He said that being neighbours in the region, Pakistan and Russia faced common challenges of security and stability. Interaction in these fields corresponds to national interest of both the countries, he said. 
He said that economic cooperation between the two countries had immense potential. “We are facing energy crisis, and hope that the Russian Federation will cooperate with Pakistan to resolve this issue. We are expecting Russian companies’ participation in Muzaffargarh and Jamshoro power stations. There are many other fields where we can cooperate with each other.” He said that Pakistan offered attractive investment opportunities, particular in the energy, infrastructure, communication, health, education and other fields. “I personally feel that there is a big door in cooperation of defence field also.”
He said that ties between the two countries had been very warm and strong, and growing stronger with each passing moment.
“I am sure Habib Ahmed and his team will definitely take our relations to new heights.” 
Alexey Dedov thanked all the guests for the warm welcome, and said, “I will try my utmost to enhance the socio-political and economic relations between the two countries. The Russian Federation is determined to extend its cooperation to help Pakistan in overcoming energy crisis and terrorism. I am confident that I and Habib Ahmed together will be able to address all the challenges and achieve the [set] goals.”

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