Islamabad and Beijing signed a document on Tuesday for bilateral military cooperation after talks between senior Chinese and Pakistani officials.
A high-powered Chinese delegation, led by Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ma Xiaotian, held discussions at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi, to kickstart the 9th round of Pak-China Defence and Security talks, according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
Details of the document were not made public. One military official merely said that it reflected the increasing ongoing cooperation between the two countries. This cooperation, the official added, included high level exchanges, training programmes and intelligence sharing.
During talks with Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Khalid Shameem Wynne, the Chinese general appreciated the “role played by the people and armed forces of Pakistan, especially the efforts in fighting terrorism.” He said the cooperation in different fields between the two Armed Forces will continue with a renewed resolve and commitment towards each other.
The six-member Chinese delegation also called on Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and held in depth discussions on matters of bilateral interest, an official statement said.
The prime minister said, “We are proud of our excellent relations with the People’s Republic of China, with whom we have a strategic partnership”.
Our cooperation with China on regional and international fora is exemplary, he added. Ashraf said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relationship with China which is time tested and beneficial to both countries.
“We are grateful to our Chinese friends for their assistance in undertaking development projects in Pakistan,” he added. He told the visiting Chinese delegation that the political situation in Pakistan had stabilised as the country approaches elections.
“Parliamentary democracy is taking roots in the country,” he said.
Congratulating Prime Minister Ashraf on his successful visit to China, General Ma said, “Friendship between China and Pakistan is of strategic significance.” He expressed confidence that with the passage of time these relations would deepen further.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 26th, 2012.