Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pakistan, Russia To Boost Defence Cooperation

Pakistan and Russia have decided to enter into new phase of defence cooperation as Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt has concluded his trip to Russia where he visited various air force related defence installations and had meetings with defence high-ups, including his Russian counterpart.

It was the first-ever visit of any chief of Pakistan Air Force to that country. Air Chief Marshal Butt who has returned to the Air Headquarters has termed the visit a great success. In a brief chat with The News, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt on Tuesday said ‘it was excellent visit with positive outcome and we can expect greater cooperation with Russia in the field of defence, particularly in air defence.’ Without going into details, he said that Russian authorities are forthcoming and they have agreed for further interaction between the two countries on the question of defence cooperation.

Pakistan is already using Russian made helicopters but the relationship is required to be diversified and expanded. The Russian choppers are providing useful service, he said. He said that Pakistan is interested in acquiring Russian machinery and equipment but it must be done under a streamlined system. The CAS stayed in Russian capital Moscow for four days and he will submit report pertaining to the trip to Prime Minister.

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