Islamabad to extend military cooperation with Riyadh

Published: March 9, 2016
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PHOTO SOURCE: AL ARABIYA ENGLISH

PHOTO SOURCE: AL ARABIYA ENGLISH

ISLAMABAD: The country’s top civil and military leadership has decided to expand its engagements with Saudi Arabia and will offer military training to the Saudi troops, provide it military hardware and share intelligence. This was decided on Tuesday during a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the PM House.

The meeting was attended by army chief General Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, National Security Adviser Lt Gen (R) Nasser Khan Janjua, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.

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The official statement said the participants discussed issues pertaining to national and internal security and strongly condemned the ‘cowardly’ March 7 suicide attack in Shabqadar.

According to sources, the participants discussed the prime minister’s and army chief’s two-day visit to Saudi Arabia – starting from Wednesday (today). During the visit, Pakistani leadership will offer to expand its cooperation with Saudis apart from its support for the 34-nation coalition of Islamic countries cobbled together by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism.

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Sources said during their visit, the civil and military leadership might offer a long-term training programme for Saudi Arabia’s military. Sources said Pakistan and India have agreed to hold a meeting of both the prime ministers during the Nuclear Security Summit to be held from March 31 to April 1 in the USA.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • TightFit
    Mar 9, 2016 - 9:40AM

    The camouflage uniforms are so good that I can barely see the military personnel !Recommend

  • Ashraf P
    Mar 9, 2016 - 10:45AM

    Seems like all the previous noise about staying neutral were just that – noise.Recommend

  • Ashraf P
    Mar 9, 2016 - 10:47AM

    Pakistan cannot afford to antagonize Iran and have enemies on 3 sides. Bad move.Recommend

  • jami
    Mar 9, 2016 - 11:04AM

    Good, sell the Arabs more goods and get more of their oil money. Provide them with basic training but don’t give too much away. Increase your exports and boost your military industry. Sell Sell Sell.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Mar 9, 2016 - 2:16PM

    @jami:
    And what would we “sell” ? Apart from the nukes, many of those countries, especially GCC possess more sophisticated conventional weaponry than Pakistan because they can afford it. Providing hardware is just that, not selling. Most of all, this alliance expects ‘manware’ from Pakistan. Are we ready to put boots on the ground in a big way…?Recommend

  • lkhan
    Mar 9, 2016 - 2:17PM

    Pity Pakistan has decided against a neutral stance. Not in its interests to team with KSA….Recommend

  • zoro
    Mar 9, 2016 - 2:55PM

    Way to go !!!
    Saudi has helped Pakistan in all the spheres and difficulties … time for pay back …Recommend

  • roadkashehzada
    Mar 9, 2016 - 3:30PM

    good move.
    pakistan has already lost UAE to india for trade. need to take sides now and stand strongly. saudia can invest heavily alongwith qatar and bahrain. all iran can do is create nuisance through its proxies which it will refrain if pakistan shows a solid stand and zero tolerance to end all kinds of terrorism.
    modi is going to visit Riyadh next month. pakistan should do whatever it can to stop modi from hugging king salmanRecommend

  • Saad
    Mar 9, 2016 - 3:50PM

    @zoro:
    Saudis may go broke as early as 2020. They have nothing to offer except terrorism.Recommend

  • NHA
    Mar 9, 2016 - 3:56PM

    @Ashraf P: But Iran has to rise above religion and sectarian issues. It has lost over 35 years in religious fervor and wasted almost every thing including the right to lead the Muslim Ummah.

    India is exploiting Iran’s isolation and is using it against Pakistan. Iranian leaders must appreciate Pak’s sensitivities. Recommend

  • Someone
    Mar 9, 2016 - 6:50PM

    Yes. “saudia can invest heavily alongwith qatar and bahrain” in madrasasRecommend

  • Brainy Bhaijan
    Mar 9, 2016 - 6:57PM

    Pakistan cannot withstand a shia-sunni conflict on its streets. This is not good news.Recommend

  • Guldar Ali Khan Wazir
    Mar 9, 2016 - 8:22PM

    Saudi Arabia is one of the closest countries of Pakistan having shared religious values with each other. We, as Pakistanis, cannot leave Saudis in the lurch and stand by her in every distress.The existing situation in the Middle east is not in the interest of Ryiadh and other tiny regional states. Some Muslim states in the periphery are hatching conspiracies to destabilise KSA and other GCC states and the formation of the current alliance is harbinger of these intrigues. Pakistan has no intention to fish in troubled water of KSA and Iran. Instead, it tries to reduce tension between them and even bury the hatchet once and for all. However, Pakistan will extend military assistance to KSA if it smells any rat in that region. Recommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Mar 9, 2016 - 10:47PM

    Time to bend over to master’s whim ! All the rest was hot air, it seems !Sadly Master is not rich any more, but will give free oil, not cash ! Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Mar 10, 2016 - 12:28AM

    Pakistan should act with less hubris. SA has more sophisticated weaponry plus has in residence American commanders who are guiding their training and aggression in Syria and Yemen. Is Pakistan more adept than the US? Instead it needs to secure its own borders instead of trying to fight in the desert, or do we have a new T E Lawrence among our ranks. Recommend

  • It's Economy Stupid
    Mar 10, 2016 - 3:18AM

    This was decided on Tuesday during a meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the PM House.
    Decision for a monarchy (KSA)) was made in the PM House and not in the Parliament says it all.Recommend

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