Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2018 in New Delhi, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Morgulov, said: “We provide support to Pakistan to improve its counter-terrorism capabilities. We sold several helicopters to Pakistan to help them to have their own counter-terrorism operations.”
He added that Pakistan is also suffering from terrorist attacks; therefore, Moscow is providing support to all the regional countries including Kabul and Islamabad to defeat the common threat of terrorism.
“First, we provide this support to Afghanistan. We are training Afghan national security forces. We are sending weapons to Afghan national security forces for free by the way and including those Kalashnikovs which then we don’t know where they go to,” he added.
Former President Hamid Karzai who was also present at the panel said Moscow and Islamabad relations are new; however, he said the U.S. has failed in Afghanistan because it has given more importance to Pakistan compared with Afghanistan.
“The Russian-Pakistan relationship is new and not as impactful as the American-Pakistan relationship. Russia is not as close to ISI as the CIA is. Russian military is not as close to the Pakistani military as the U.S. military is,” Karzai said. “[Once] when I pressed the U.S. delegation on Pakistan and their support to Pakistan and the continuity of extremism arriving from there to Afghanistan, the trouble that it cost to Afghanistan and the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, suddenly vice president (Joe) Biden got up from his place and said look Mr. Karzai, Pakistan is fifty times more important for us than you Afghanistan. That is the relationship that we should focus on.”
At the same event, Vijay Kumar Singh, an Indian politician and a retired four-star-general, said that focus has to be on ensuring that no support to extremism take place.
He also emphasized on the economical growth of Afghanistan in order to become self-sustained.
“[Afghanistan] has to take money to survive. Till the time that economy doesn’t improve, till the time we do not open the roads, till the time we do not allow free flow of trade and commerce. You will find that there will be a problem in Afghanistan where it will remain dependent. India’s interest lies in ensuring that Afghanistan becomes capable of ensuring what it had earlier in terms of a better economy,” Gen. Singh said.