Islamabad - The Pakistan Army is sending a contingent to Saudi Arabia on a “training and advisory mission”.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that in continuation of ongoing Pak-Saudi bilateral security cooperation, the Pakistan Army contingent was being sent to the Kingdom on the training and advisory mission.

“There are troops who are already deployed there who will not be employed outside Saudi Arabia ,” the press statement said adding that the Pakistan Army maintains bilateral security cooperation with many other GCC/regional countries.

The announcement followed a meeting between Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the GHQ Rawalpindi.

According to the ISPR, during their meeting, Gen Bajwa and Al-Maliki discussed matters of "mutual interest" including the regional security situation.

On February 14, the first phase of the Joint Special Operation Forces Maritime exercise Aff’aa Al Sahil was held at Karachi between Pakistan Navy (PN-SOF) and Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF-SOF).

During the first phase, a series of land and harbour exercises were carried out, wherein, special maritime operations were rehearsed for the second phase at sea, a press release issued by the directorate of public relations of the Pakistan Navy said on Wednesday. It said that the exercise Aff’aa Al Sahil was aimed at enhancing interoperability and sharpening the tactical proficiency in countering maritime human trafficking, piracy and terrorism. “The exercise will help in developing synergy in operations against asymmetric and conventional threats.”

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong military ties under a 1982 bilateral agreement. Pakistan already has around 1,180 troops in Saudi Arabia mostly serving in training and advisory roles, according to a report.

Pakistan is also one of the 41 members of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition that is being headed by a former army chief Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif. The military alliance was formally launched by Saudi Arabia 's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman last year.

COMPENSATION FOR TRIBESMEN

General Bajwa also directed for facilitation to tribal brethren in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

“Watan Cards earlier issued as ID document for payment of compensation to Temporarily Displaced Persons, are no more required. Henceforth, CNIC will be taken as ID document. Those without CNIC can use Watan Card till May 31 and obtain CNIC by then,” said an ISPR Press release.

Meanwhile, a delegation of journalists from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Hazara Division visited Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Thursday.

The delegation apprised ISPR Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor about media efforts in those areas, a Press release said.

The ISPR DG acknowledged and appreciated their contributions and assured them full support.