ISLAMABAD/MOSCOW – Minister for Defence Khawaja Mohammad Asif is on a three-day official visit to Russia to attend the third conference on international security in Moscow on Friday on special invitation from his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.
Defence ministers or deputy ministers from the member-countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as a number of Middle Eastern, European, and Asian countries are attending the forum.
Along with defence or deputy ministers of Pakistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iran, Serbia, and deputy ministers and top army officials of Syria and Iraq attending the conference in which more than 300 representatives from 40 countries taking part. NATO and European Union countries have declined to participate.
“Pakistan strongly believes in the policy of non-interference and peaceful coexistence with neighbouring countries,” Asif said, adding that the conduction of peaceful elections in Afghanistan was testimony to this. “We have lost lives, suffered monetarily but are determined to the cause of peace,” he said.
The minister said that Pakistan was fully cognizant of its role in the region and efforts were made to yield tangible results in stabilizing it. “The necessity is to have regular exchanges of opinion, joint objective analysis,” he said. The conference proved fruitful in the existing security scenario with hopes of a positive and workable roadmap for future.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that there was a threat of the spread of ‘colour revolutions’ in the world, that are forms of warfare. “The phenomenon of 'colour revolutions' is becoming a significant factor in the destabilization of the situation in many regions of the world. Foreign values are being forced on peoples under the guise of democracy,” Shoigu told the conference.
“The socioeconomic problems of some countries are used for replacing nationally oriented governments with regimes controlled from abroad,” Shoigu said. “They, for their part, provide their patrons with unimpeded access to these countries' resources,” he said. “These 'colour revolutions’ are increasingly looking like combat and are developed according to the military arts,” he said.
The forum is to begin with a plenary meeting on the themes of global security and regional stability. There will be two panel discussions on the themes of the “Search for Ways to Stabilize the Situation in the Middle East and North Africa” and “Afghanistan and Regional Security.” Participants in the panel meetings are to discuss, in particular, the lessons of the Arab spring, the impact of the situation in Afghanistan on neighbouring states, possible ways for interaction between the CSTO and NATO, and other themes.