ISLAMABAD: Six Afghan National Army cadets arrived in Islamabad on Thursday to receive training at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Abbottabad, the Afghan embassy said.
The move comes after Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had offered training to Afghan forces during his visit to Kabul late last year. The cadets will take part in an 18-month long course.
This is the first ever group of Afghan National Army cadets to attend a course at the PMA.
Afghan Ambassador Janan Mosazai, while welcoming the cadets at the embassy in Islamabad, said that the move represents growth in Pakistan and Afghan ties.
“These six young cadets, selected from among the best in Afghan National Army,” Mosazai said, adding that they “represent the steady and solid quantitative as well as qualitative growth and development of Afghanistan’s national security and defence forces over the past decade.”
“They take great pride in providing security to the Afghan people and defending the country against external threats, and who enjoy the strong backing and support of the entire Afghan nation.”
The arrival of the cadets coincides with a six-day visit to Pakistan by a five-member Afghan military delegation led by Afghan National Army Director General of Training, Education and Doctrine Maj Gen Nematullah Khushiwal.
“The induction of these young Afghan cadets at the Pakistan Military Academy is an important step in both countries’ efforts to strengthen, broaden and deepen security and military relations, and cooperation in all areas,” the Afghan ambassador said.
Highlighting their role as ambassadors of their country in their own individual right, Ambassador Mosazai asked the cadets to establish close and long-lasting ties of professional and personal friendship with their Pakistani counterparts as well as with students from other friendly countries attending PMA.
Former President Hamid Karzai had long opposed Afghan forces training in Pakistan in spite of Pakistan’s repeated requests.