India and Pakistan have both focused on the importance of de-escalation in Ukraine following the Russian invasion while carefully avoiding ascribing responsibility for the violence, with the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours attempting to walk differing diplomatic high-wires, analysts say.
On Sunday, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke via telephone with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, reiterating Pakistan’s call to cease hostilities.
The language of Pakistan’s statement is similar to that of India’s on the ongoing crisis at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and in a telephone conversation between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Russian and Ukrainian leadership.
On Sunday, Modi spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, stressing the need to end the violence without ascribing responsibility for it.
Meanwhile, PM Modi reiterated his call for an immediate ceasing of violence and a return to the dialogue and expressed India’s willingness to contribute in any way towards peace efforts,” read an Indian foreign ministry statement following the call.
Two days back, on February 24, 2022, PM Modi spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin using similar language.
As per the statement released by the Indian ministry, “Prime Minister Modi reiterated his longstanding conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue.”
“Modi also appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue.”
At the UNSC, India abstained from a vote on a resolution that would have “deplored” Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan was in Moscow for talks with President Putin on a major gas pipeline deal and regional issues, including Afghanistan.
The Russian statement on that meeting was brief, making no mention of Ukraine. At the same time, PM Khan’s office took a guarded approach to broach the subject of the invasion, saying Pakistan “regretted” the current situation.