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Russian Arms Supplies to Pakistan

The decision by Russia to end its arms embargo on weapon sales to Pakistan must be viewed in the broader context of impending withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.  Russia has agreed to supply Mi-35 attack helicopters primarily to augment Pakistan’s capacity to counter the likely escalation of insurgency in the region.  By and large analysts agree that, despite the withdrawal of coalition forces, insurgency   will not fade away. Although there are differences  about   its scale, it is well known that , Chechen, Uzbeks,  Tajiks, and Kyrgyz extremists  among others  are located in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas  (FATA )  , where they are trained in the use of arms, and taught jihadi  propaganda . Russia’s attempt is not only to bolster Pakistan’s capacity to face the new geopolitical situation but also to seek Pakistan’s cooperation in gathering more information about these extremists in Pakistan.  Secondly Russia is concerned about the stability of the Central Asian Republics, for any destabilization of Central Asia would impact adversely on energy rich Russian regions adjoining Central Asia.

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