ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir has proposed an all-encompassing strategic pact between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for deepening the defence ties between the two countries, says an official handout released on Tuesday.
The proposal from the minister came during his meeting with visiting Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Mohammad bin Abdullah al Aeysh. The senior Saudi official also held separate talks with army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Dastgir told the Saudi official that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were progressing towards a comprehensive defence relationship for the 21st century. However, he noted that that despite the enduring relations between the two countries, there was no formal strategic cooperation agreement.
In the same context, the minister proposed an all-encompassing strategic cooperation agreement to deepen the defence ties between the two countries.
He also highlighted the extensive LoC violations from the Indian side which had resulted in numerous civilian casualties. He conveyed Pakistan’s expectation of the Saudi Kingdom to play its diplomatic role to redress the situation.
The deputy defence minister stated that the kingdom sought Pakistan’s support for training Saudi armed forces, especially in the domain of counterterrorism, asymmetric warfare and mountain fighting.
Minister Dastgir highlighted that as part of the strategic cooperation, agreements between national defense universities of both the countries might be formalised in order to expand cooperation in strategic planning.
He also sent his felicitations to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for holding a successful ministerial meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and safety of Haramain Sharifain.
Meanwhile, during his meeting with the Saudi deputy defense minister, the army chief discussed regional security and enhanced bilateral defence cooperation. The deputy defence minister appreciated professional standing and performance of Pakistan Army.
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Separately, Palestinian Ambassador Abu Ali called on General Qamar at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The envoy, in his meeting, thanked the army chief for Pakistan’s support to the Palestinian cause.
General Qamar reassured the ambassador that “Pakistan views the unresolved Palestine issue on a par with the Kashmir issue”.
He said, “Both issues have unequivocal public, moral and political support of the Pakistani nation and we will continue to support the principled stance on both regardless of the so-called reality of occupation.”