A year after Salala, Pakistan, US get defence cooperation back on track

Published: December 4, 2012

Both sides acknowledge efforts to improve ties by putting Salala behind them. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: Almost a year after the November 26 attack on a Pakistan checkpost by US forces, both countries buried the hatchet and resumed bilateral security cooperation, reaffirming commitment to defence ties between the two war on terror allies base on strategic desirability, political sustainability, trust and mutual respect.

According to a joint statement issued after the 21st United States – Pakistan Defence Consultative Group (DCG) meeting held in Rawalpindi, the delegations acknowledged that bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation has been critical to weakening violent extremists and underscores the importance of continuing cooperation to complete the defeat of al Qaeda and its affiliates in the region.

Both sides affirmed their mutual commitment to a strong defence relationship, which they stressed, should focus on achieving common objectives.

The two nations’ delegations were led by Pakistan’s Secretary of Defence Lt. Gen. (Retd) Asif Yasin Malik and the US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Dr James Miller respectively.

The DCG is the primary forum for exchanging views and coordinating defence policy with the goal of strengthening cooperation to support each country’s security interests. It last met in May, 2011 in Washington, DC.  Tuesday’s meeting was the first after the Salala incident plunged ties between the two countries to new depths.

During a plenary session, DCG participants shared their respective assessments of the bilateral relationship and discussed each country’s strategic priorities, and agreed on areas for future defense cooperation.

Both delegations concluded that the discussions to reopen the NATO-led Coalition’s ground supply lines and the resumption of bilateral consultations on regional security were significant achievements over the past six months.

The Pakistani delegation provided an update on its military campaign along its western border and the US side briefed on International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) activities in Afghanistan, including efforts to transition the lead for security to Afghan forces.

In light of the November, 2011 cross-border incident, both sides expressed appreciation for the efforts by their respective militaries to improve operational coordination. Both sides reviewed the numerous challenges facing regional security, and shared their views regarding the importance of regional peace and stability.

Recognising the enduring security requirements on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the two delegations agreed to cooperate on a prioritised set of Pakistan’s defense requirements which will inform follow-on consultations on security assistance.

The United States and Pakistan also discussed the importance of the Coalition Support Fund and Security Assistance Programs, and agreed to continued consultations on the way forward.

The delegations reaffirmed the DCG remains an invaluable forum to discuss strategic defense policy issues and exchange views on shared security concerns, and committed to continue working together to implement a framework for defense cooperation based on areas of convergence between US and Pakistani interests to promote peace and stability in the region.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Chengez K
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:08PM

    It is a fight to death & both sides know it !!!!

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  • Abdul Latif
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:17PM

    Now that the US elections are over, the US-Pakistan collaboration will resume. So the past year of tensions seems to have been nothing but a smokescreen. The collaboration between them was just put on hold.

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  • Hasan
    Dec 4, 2012 - 10:55PM

    wonder how long can we go on bluffing the world with our duplicity, and how long will world shut their eyes on our fault… to me its as long as we are relevant while troops withdraw. Thats it. After 2014, it would be payback time from the world on all these nonsense that we have created ourselves to scam/beg dollars from others.

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  • G.A.
    Dec 4, 2012 - 11:16PM

    This appears like bunch of successes for america after doing all evils and paying nothing for them.

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  • Majid
    Dec 4, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Pakistan army, rogue army! First they make Resham dance on the graves of Kargil martyrs and now playing games on the corpse of 27 martyrs!

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  • Ali
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Pakistan Govt. and Army should realise that collaboration with its own people is more important than collaboration with the US. The people are dying of hunger and terrorism anyway, aid or no aid. These corrupt officials can not fill their bank accounts without the US. That is the problem.

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  • gp65
    Dec 5, 2012 - 3:36AM

    @Hasan: You nailed it.

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  • Cautious
    Dec 5, 2012 - 3:38AM

    Reads like a press announcement – it would be nice if a journalist would ask for some specific examples/tangible results of this new cooperation.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Much the best and the greatest ever excellent and august live example of shamelessness,effrontery,meanness,beggary,slavery and conscienceless by the Pakistani leadership…..

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