08:30 GMT +318 October 2017
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    Islamabad should promote relations with Russia - former Pakistani ambassador

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    ISLAMABAD, July 4 (RIA Novosti, Yevgeny Pakhomov) - Pakistan should be more proactive in developing relations with Russia, Pakistan's former ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Sahabzada Yaqub-Khan said Monday.

    "Nothing should hamper our relations now that the Afghan problem has been solved," Yaqub-Khan said. "Relations are improving but not as fast as they could. Bilateral visits and decisions to step up relations have been made, but they have not been implemented."

    Yaqub-Khan was foreign minister in President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's government in the 1980s, when Pakistan backed Mujaheddin forces fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

    The former ambassador also said that Russia's close links with India did not hamper relations with Pakistan, which has not made much effort to boost contacts with Russia.

    "Both Moscow and Islamabad should consider the development of bilateral relations, which are mutually beneficial," he added.

    "Russia is experiencing serious and complicated reforms," Yaqub-Khan said. "Any support and good will expressed in this period will not be forgotten in Moscow."

    Moscow and Islamabad have implemented many successful projects in the past, he said.

    "The USSR helped build a metallurgical plant in Karachi, and Pakistan exported textiles to the Soviet Union," Yaqub-Khan said. "We had good education links, but we need progress today."

    "There have been complicated periods in bilateral relations. But they should remain a matter of the past."

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