ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Belarus are set to multiply cooperation in various sectors as Belarus Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik arrives in Islamabad today (May 30) on a two-day visit for bilateral talks.
The visit is sparking attention and concern in Western capitals due to Belarus’ staunch support for Russia in the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
The visit comes as Belarus continues to defy the West in its alliance with Moscow. Aleinik has been invited for the two-day trip by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The Foreign Office said the purpose of the visit is to discuss bilateral ties and explore avenues for enhanced cooperation in various domains, including politics, economics, defence, and science and technology.
The official handout emphasised the close and cordial relations between Pakistan and Belarus, highlighting their last meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Belarus, which gained independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has maintained strong economic and political ties with Russia.
Its strategic significance lies in its proximity to Ukraine, with nearly 700 miles of shared border. Unlike neighbouring countries that have joined Western alliances, Belarus remains under Moscow’s influence. Consequently, it has faced Western sanctions due to its close association with Russia.
Pakistan has sought to navigate a delicate balancing act since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, refraining from condemning Moscow’s actions while simultaneously expanding ties with Russia, such as exploring oil imports.
Pakistani diplomats said the visit was not against any country but aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation. “Pakistan is a sovereign country. We want good ties with all the countries. We want to be at ease with the west and the east,” said one diplomat.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian mechanical engineering company Bobruiskagromash intends to advance cooperation with Pakistan.
Ambassador of Pakistan to Belarus Sajjad Haider Khan visited the enterprise this week. He was made familiar with the company’s manufacturing capabilities and examined the line-up of agricultural machines the company makes. Close attention was paid to cotton farming and harvesting machines since cotton is a staple crop in Pakistan and occupies 15% of the country’s cultivated land.
The main directions of bilateral cooperation for the sake of promoting Bobruiskagromash machines to the Pakistani market were determined.
An official statement said matters of organisation of assembly manufacturing and after sales service were discussed as well as reciprocal shipments of components and parts from Pakistan.