Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that gas could be supplied to Pakistan and part of the infrastructure required was already in place.
Putin cited stability in Afghanistan, however, as an issue, according to Russian news agency TASS. The Russian president made the comments while meeting Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the sidelines of the 22nd summit of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
“The issue is about pipeline gas supplies from Russia to Pakistan, which is also possible, which means part of infrastructure has already been created, meaning Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan. We have to solve the Afghan issue,” Putin remarked. The Russian president expressed hope about overcoming the impediment. “Of course, there are problems connected with political stability, but having in mind our mutually good relations with the Afghan people, I hope this problem can also be solved, I mean Pakistan’s influence on the situation in the country,” he added.
Shehbaz had earlier reached Uzbekistan to attend the SCO summit. Uzbekistan Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, deputy foreign minister, education minister and Samarkand governor received Shehbaz upon his arrival at the Samarkand International Airport.
Shehbaz later visited Khizr Complex and paid respects at the mausoleum of Uzbekistan’s first president Islam Karimov. He then held separate meetings with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Putin and Iran President Ibrahim Raisi. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and Defence Minister Khwaja Asif are part of the delegation accompanying Shehbaz on the two-day visit.