Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has discussed with Sputnik the issues of Moscow-Islamabad cooperation and the purchases of Russian hardware by Pakistan.
Purchases of Su-35 Jets, Air Defense Systems and T-90 Tanks
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Khurram Dastgir Khan confirmed to Sputnik that Islamabad was in talks with Moscow on the issue of purchasing air defense systems, adding that Pakistan was interested in such weapons.
“Air defense system is a different kind of weapon we are interested. We are very much interested in a very wide range of the Russian weapons technology. We are in negotiations [on air defense systems] and once we conclude negotiations, we will be able to announce them,” Khan said in an interview.
Pakistan and Russia may reach an agreement on Islamabad purchasing Russian Su-35 jets “in the next few years,” the talks on the issue are in their early stages,Khan told Sputnik.
Last February, a high-ranking military official in Pakistan told Sputnik that Islamabad had no plans to buy the Su-35.
“Concerning fighter aircraft Su-35: may be in the next few years we will be able to reach that point, we are in the beginning of negotiations now,” the minister said answering a corresponding question.
Pakistan is interested in acquiring Russian T-90 tanks as a long-term commitment instead of a single purchase, Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan told Sputnik in an interview on Thursday.
“We are interested in tanks T-90 and it is not going to be a one-time purchase but it is going to be a long-term commitment,” Khan said.
Both Islamabad and Moscow are interested in a stable and democratic Afghanistan as it will positively contribute to security in Central Asia, the minister said.
“We respect Afghanistan’s sovereignty. Stability in Afghanistan is important for Pakistan to be able to develop its own prosperous future, to access to the Russian market, for example, by land route. Democratic and stable Afghanistan is in deep the interest of both Russia and Pakistan,” Khan said.
Pakistan supports Russia’s efforts to bring stability and peace to
the region and called on other regional and global powers to jointly devise a plan to end violence and defeat terrorism in Afghanistan, according to the official.
“We are supporting the Russian regional approach to Afghanistan and we hope that not only Russia but also China, Iran and of course the United States can sit together at the table and devise a way in which we can achieve internal peace and reconciliation within Afghanistan,” he added.
The minister also praised a new approach by the Afghan leadership when it comes to ending the prolonged conflict in the country.