Recently, for the first time Russian troops landed in Pakistan for a joint military exercise between the two countries. The exercises came amidst mounting tensions between India and Pakistan after the Uri terror attack. And while Russia has sought to assure India that the exercises are not taking place in any disputed territory, the very fact that it decided to go ahead with the drills after the Uri attack signal a change in Russia’s attitude.
Not only that, it has also invited Russia to join the CASA-1000 project for the transmission of thermal energy. Reports suggest that the two countries have already agreed to talk on a 600MW gas-fired power plant at Jamshoro to be built with investment from Russia.
As far as China goes, Pakistan has always been close to this regional ally. Not only has China supported Pakistan on international forums, even pushing its case on NSG and blocking India’s move to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. On the economic front, around $46 billion investment has been pledged by China for the
CPEC that runs through that area. CPEC or the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will link the Xinjiang Province, through PoK, to the Gwadar Port in Balochistan.
The corridor is expected to hugely contribute to the development of China’s Western province, and would give Pakistan a ‘protection’ in its bid to strengthen hold on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.