LAHORE - Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday arrived in Saudi Arabia. Lt General Faiz Hameed, the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was also accompanying General Bajwa. 

According to ISPR, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa held meetings with Saudi Chief of General Staff (COGS) General Fayyadh Bin Hamed Al Ruwaili and Commander of Saudi Joint Forces Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Turki. Bilateral defence relations and military training were discussed during the meeting. 

Earlier, Chief of General Staff General Fayyadh Bin Hamed Al Ruwaili welcomed COAS Qamar Javed on his arrival and the COAS was presented guard of honour.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s visit on Monday was “primarily military-affairs oriented,” Pakistan’s army spokesman said. According to Pakistani officials, General Qamar Javed Bajwa would use his good offices to try to calm the situation, which could badly hurt Pakistan’s central bank foreign reserves if not reversed.

A traditional ally, Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a $3bn loan and $3.2bn oil credit facility to help its balance of payments crisis in late 2018. Pakistan has long pressed the Saudi-led Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene a high-level meeting to highlight India’s alleged human rights violations in the disputed Kashmir region. But the OIC has only held low-level meetings so far.

Last week, DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar had confirmed that the Pak Army Chief was traveling to Saudi Arabia, saying that the visit was pre-planned and “primarily military affairs oriented.” Earlier Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Admiral Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, had met the COAS to discuss matters of mutual interest, regional security and bilateral defence relations.