‘Pakistan Prime Minister’s recent visit to Russia was a bold declaration.’
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey talks about the war between Russia and Ukraine in this exclusive interview with SouthAsia executive editor, Faizan Usmani.
Will Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Russia impact future relations between the two countries?
Imran Khan needs to convince nobody of his bravery, which we saw for many years on cricket pitches. For those who are unaware of this visit, it could not have been more courageous in fact. He visited Moscow just when the current military operation was starting and he knew it would incur the criticism of the West, which he in turn criticised. This did not go unnoticed in Moscow and so future relations between Russia and Pakistan will be closer, as indeed will Russia’s relations with the whole of Asia.
In fact we can read a lot into the Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow. It was a bold declaration that Pakistan is mastered by nobody, it is bloc-free and is capable of choosing its own destiny. This comes at a time when Russia has to examine its psyche and question whether it is just a European nation or embrace the fact that most of the country is in Asia, where Pakistan is now a friendly nation. I can see good things happening for Russia in Asia and good things for Asia with Russia drawing closer.
Did Russia make the right decision in invading Ukraine?
First and foremost, nobody likes being invaded. Ask Serbia, ask Afghanistan, ask Iraq, ask Libya, ask countless other nations which do not make the headlines because they are in places far from Europe. And nobody likes to see families destroyed and kids crying and running away from home. In Ukraine, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Palestine, in Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine...it is impossible to differentiate between the taste of tears shed by a mother in Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Yemen or Burkina Faso. They taste of salt. They taste of sadness.
Answering your question, I like to present my readers with facts and believe they are capable of forming their own opinion.