Renewed commitment: Army chief vows to defend S Arabia

Says any threat to Riyadh will evoke strong response from Islamabad


Our Correspondent October 31, 2015
Army chief Gen Raheel shakes hands with Saudi soldiers. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD:


Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Friday said any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will evoke a strong response from Pakistan.


The army chief made the statement during the culmination of a two-week-long counter-terrorism training for the special forces of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in Pabbi near Jhelum.

“Al-Shihab  focused on counter terrorism training of the special operation forces of Pakistan and (the) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which included cordon and search operations, airdropping and heli-lifting of special forces for operations against terrorists’ acts and their hideouts,” said the statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing. The joint training comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is facing increased threats from terrorist groups – particularly Da’esh.

Addressing the concluding ceremony, the army chief said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong and brotherly ties which have a long history of deep-rooted cooperation.

While meeting the participating troops, he appreciated their dedication, motivation and professionalism.

He said that the exercise signifies the joint effort of “our two nations against terrorism and Insha’Allah we will defeat this menace in all its forms and manifestations.”

General Raheel reiterated that any threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will evoke a strong response from Pakistan.

A six-member high level Saudi military delegation headed by General Mufleh Bin Saleem al Otaibi, Commander Special Forces of Saudi Arabia was also present on the occasion.

Relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia faced an unprecedented dip earlier this year when Islamabad refused to join the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels in Yemen.


Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.

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