ISLAMABAD - Welcoming resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India, Russian Ambassador to Islamabad Alexey Y.Dedov on Sunday called for continuation of efforts for resolution of outstanding issues between two nuclear-capable neighbours.

We also welcome this kind of developments after the visit of Indian Secretary of  Foreign Affairs Subrahmanyan Jaishankar to Islamabad early this month. This process needs continuation in the practical terms, he said in exclusive interview with APP here. He said that there was a will in the two countries to pursue dialogue as both Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Narendra Modi  had demonstrated they wanted to improve their relations.

This is a very good trend, said the Ambassador who took his assignment in Islamabad last year and currently visiting different Pakistani cities to explore avenues of economic cooperation between Islamabad and Moscow.

Questioned on Afghanistan situation, he supported Pakistan’s stance by stating that his country wanted an Afghan-led and Afghan owned reconciliation process for ensuring peace and stability in the war-battered country.

Moscow welcomes recent developments between Pakistan and Afghanistan following the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad, he said.

“Pakistan being a key player in Afghanistan, will hopefully play its contribution in stabilizing Afghanistan,” said Ambassador Alexey.

The major problem to be resolved in Afghanistan was to start a dialogue with the Opposition and it was not a secret that they were quite strong from military point of view, he said.

We strongly hope Afghanistan national Army and Afghan National police, “with the help of international cooperation, will be able to face the terrorists,” said Alexey. He said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria had already penetrated into Afghanistan.

Afghans need to curb the illicit drug-trafficking which was one of the source of financing terrorism, he added. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, he said was also a forum where its members could cooperate for promoting stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan and India will become full member of this organisation in July this year, he said and hoped it would help in stepping up cooperation among its member to combat drug-trafficking and terrorism.

On recent inking of defence agreement with Pakistan, he said that the military cooperation is becoming one of the important components of cooperation with Pakistan.

Regarding sale of MI-35 helicopters to Pakistan, he said that Russia was ready to sell these helicopters to Pakistan and both the countries were engaged in negotiations on the issue.

We strongly hope that Pakistani purchase of these helicopters would strengthen anti-terrorists potential of Pakistan, he said. “We are actively participating on many international efforts” to combat terrorism, said Alexey.

Referring to cooperation on helping Pakistan overcome its energy crisis, he said that Moscow had shown interest in medium and small scale hydle projects during 3rd meeting of inter-governmental commission last month which could generate 1770 mw electricity.

Giving details, the Russian envoy said that Moscow had shown its interest to construct 300 mw Naran power project and 1320 mw Tarbela Five and two units of Warsak Dam on River Kabul, with the capacity of 150MW.

Diamer-Bahshah Dam on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan was also on the agenda of talks between the two countries and Russian companies might be interested in  the projects, he added.