Government proposes ‘strategic pact’ with riyadh

Islamabad –  Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir has proposed “an all-encompassing strategic cooperation agreement” to deepen defence ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

“Building on a solid legacy, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are progressing towards a comprehensive defence relationship for the twenty-first century”, the minister said while talking to Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Aysh at the Defence Ministry in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

Dastgir noted that despite enduring Pak-Saudi relations, there was no formal strategic cooperation agreement. The minister highlighted that as part of the strategic cooperation, agreements between national defence universities of both the countries may be formalized in order to expand cooperation in strategic planning.

Dastgir expressed good wishes and prayers for health and prosperity of King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz.

He highlighted the extensive Line of Control violations from the Indian side, which have resulted in numerous civilian casualties.  The minister urged the kingdom to play its diplomatic role to put right the situation.

Saeed Al-Malki said that the kingdom seeks Pakistan’s support for training Saudi armed forces especially in the domain of counter-terrorism, asymmetric warfare and mountain fighting.

The defence minister sent his felicitations to the Saudi Crown Prince for holding a successful ministerial meeting of Islamic Military Coalition to Fight Terrorism, and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to safeguarding the territorial integrity of the kingdom.

Secretary Defence Lt-Gen (retd) Zamir ul Hassan Shah, Additional Secretary Defence Rear Admiral Faisal Rasool Lodhi and Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al-Malki were also present.


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