Defence minister says there is no formal strategic cooperation agreement between Islamabad, Riyadh
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khurram Dastgir has proposed an all-encompassing strategic pact between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for deepening the defence ties between the two countries.
The proposal came during his meeting with visiting Saudi Deputy Minister for Defence Mohammad bin Abdullah al Aeysh. Dastgir told the Saudi official that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were progressing towards a comprehensive defence relationship for the 21st century.
However, he noted that despite the enduring relations between the two countries, there was no formal strategic cooperation agreement. In the same context, the minister proposed an all-encompassing strategic cooperation agreement to deepen the defence ties between the two countries. He also highlighted the extensive LoC violations from the Indian side which had resulted in numerous civilian casualties.
He conveyed Pakistan’s expectation of the Saudi kingdom to play its diplomatic role to redress the situation. The Saudi deputy minister stated that the kingdom sought Pakistan’s support for training Saudi armed forces, especially in the domain of counterterrorism, asymmetric warfare and mountain fighting.
Dastgir highlighted that as part of the strategic cooperation, agreements between national defence universities of both the countries might be formalised in order to expand cooperation in strategic planning.
He also sent his felicitations to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for holding a successful ministerial meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to safeguarding the territorial integrity of the kingdom and safety of Haramain Sharifain.