Russian-language signposts have been erected in several regions of Pakistan, and Russia has appointed an honorary consul for the Pakistani city of Peshawar, following up on the bolstering of bilateral relations and the increased Russian presence in Pakistan.
During the Soviet Union’s decade-long occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89, Pakistan helped the United States funnel weapons and fighters to help the internationally-backed mujahedin battling Soviet forces.
In March 2017 a group of Russian military advisers were given a rare tour of the North Waziristan tribal region, a no-go area for the media and a former hotbed of militancy. That came just months after Russia and Pakistan conducted joint military drills for the first time.
Around that time, new signposts in Russian appeared in North Waziristan. Previously, traffic signs were only in Urdu, the official language, and Pashto, spoken by the majority of Pashtuns in the area.
In early February 2018, new Russian signposts were also erected along a highway near the capital, Islamabad. Weeks later, Russia appointed Arsala Khan as honorary consul-general in Peshawar at a ceremony on February 20. The provincial governor, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, said it signaled a ‘new chapter’ of renewed diplomatic relations.
Russia’s increased footprint in Pakistan concurs with renewed Russian interest in neighboring Afghanistan. The increased Russian footprint in Pakistan coincides also with down-wards-spiraling Pakistani – US relations over Pakistan’s support of Afghan Taliban factions.
Full article: Russia upgrades presence in Pakistan (nsnbc international)