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King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain meets Pakistani civil-military leadership at JSHQ in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. – Photo courtesy: ISPR
King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain meets Pakistani civil-military leadership at JSHQ in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. – Photo courtesy: ISPR

ISLAMABAD: King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Bahrain along with his delegation made an unprecedented visit to the Joint Services Headquarters (JSHQ) in Rawalpindi, said a press release issued by ISPR Wednesday night.

The king is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan, leading a 21-member delegation which includes his top defence and internal security chiefs.

Upon his arrival, King Hamad was received by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt were also present on the occasion.

The ISPR press release said that both sides discussed “brotherly relations between the two countries and vowed to further enhance military cooperation.”

“Paying rich tributes to Pakistan's Military for its valour and sacrifices in defence of the motherland, His Majesty particularly praised professionalism, quality of training and commitment of Pakistan's Armed Forces,” it added.

King Hamad was also presented a guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of tri-services.

Pakistan has been looking at the visit as an opportunity for expanding trade and promoting investment links but Bahrain appears more interested in bolstering defence relationship.

A Bahraini official said that in his talks with Pakistani leaders the king would touch upon current “regional and international developments as well as issues of mutual interest.”

It is routine for Pakistani services chiefs to pay courtesy calls on foreign heads of state and government while visiting Islamabad, but a trip by a foreign leader to the JSHQ is exceptional.

A source told Dawn that the king was expected to discuss reinforcement of defence cooperation between the two countries during his visit to the JSHQ.

Pakistan had in 2011 helped Bahrain quell an uprising against the monarchy by sending security personnel recruited through military’s welfare wings – Fauji Foundation and Bahria Foundation.

Moreover, Pakistan had previously aided Bahrain in setting up its naval forces and 18 per cent of the Gulf state’s air force comprises Pakistani personnel. It is estimated that over 10,000 Pakistanis are serving in security services of Bahrain.

The Bahrain government had in the past expressed interest in procuring defence equipment from Pakistan.

The king had begun his visit on Tuesday by meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House.

Sharif said Pakistan and Bahrain enjoy “close and cordial relations based on mutual trust and understanding.”

Comments (44) Closed

Karachi Wala Mar 20, 2014 02:01am

Besides negotiating with terrorists, this is another very dangerous game Nawaz Govt. is dragging Pakistan into. Pakistan will have to pay very dearly for both of these blunders. Include Saudi Kingdom's 1.5 billion and there will be no way out. None of our neighbors will come to rescue us. Thanks to our policies, every neighbor is either already an enemy or very soon will be.

Farhan Mar 20, 2014 02:03am

This all shows we have not learned from our past and the consequences of involving ourselves in others matters. Why this guy is visiting Pakistan after 40 years? Entire Pakistani nation would be paying price for the closeness with these Arabs who are actually only concerned with their own benefits out of these relations. Everybody knows who is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.

Aftab Kenneth Wilson Mar 20, 2014 02:09am

Kings and Prince of other ME are visiting us not because we are No.1 in economic growth or technology but for other reasons in their part of the world. I hope we will not become Prey and avoid dragging our feet in any unholy war at any level. There is an old saying '' Look Before You Jump ".

GA Mar 20, 2014 02:22am

Insecure monarchs. Pakistan is a diverse country and pitting it against Iran, with whom Pakistan has historical links, is not going to be good for this entire nuclear armed region.

Irfan Baloch Mar 20, 2014 02:23am

@Farhan: we could have asked our Saudi and Bahamanian brothers to stop funding TTP and LeJ but then again why should we when our government declares the TTP as true patriots and blames the hidden hands (read Pakistan army) for "disrupting government peace initiative with TTP

everything has a price, we already sold ourselves for 1.5 Billion I wonder what fragment of soul or conscious is left in us that Bahrain is willing to make a "brotherly" offer for

mjk Mar 20, 2014 02:25am

Since Nawaz Sharif took over the rein of the government, all of sudden Pakistan has become partner & defender of Arab autocrats . Do we ever sensibly discuss this issue in the parliament? The immediate flow of petro dollars has blinded us, we are on the wrong side of the history.

Irfan Mar 20, 2014 02:26am

King Khalifa has arrived only to get some more army troops to crush shia uprising in his country. This will be another disaster for Pakistan in near future. Pakistan should remain neutral and better worry about the bomb blasts ricking its cities every other day.
Possibly Saudi king has already paid $1.5 billion to cover the cost of the services Pak army would provide in Syria and Bahrain.

Asim Khan Mar 20, 2014 02:49am

Army must not listen to anti state orders of NS. Based on the developing relations with Arab royal kings, I foresee Pakistan in a horrible situation. They are looking for Pak army support in Syria and their own states to curb elements that demand democracy. We must distance ourselves from them. We cannot sell our dignity and peace for dollars. NS must realize this.

A.H.Khan Mar 20, 2014 02:51am

Why are we allowing these Arabs to come as they please ? To say that Saudi Arabia gifted 1.5 billions to Pakistan is such an insult. Will we ever stop being beggers ?

Fiz Mar 20, 2014 02:58am

King of Bahrain vows to enhance military cooperation at JSHQ. WHAT??? NOoooo...

Abdul Rehman Mar 20, 2014 03:06am

Champion of democracy seems to be in great affection with Arab dictators :)

Sarwat Mar 20, 2014 03:11am

Does the leadership of Pakistan ever do anything remotely considered ethical, educated or wise?

  1. Gen. Zia sent soldiers to Jordan, killed lots of Palestinians.
  2. We created Taliban, now it is a national security issue.
  3. We barely can defend our eastern borders, in the Northwest Afghans have never been sincere with Pakistan, they have always on our wrong side.
  4. Now, we had cordial relations with Iran our Mr. know it all took a bribe from S. Arabia
  5. Sending our troops to Syria, to fight along side Al Qaeda, and sending them our weapons.
  6. Now supporting a guy whose not supposed to be the leader of Bahrain in the first place. Why can't we stay neutral? Do we need more trouble? Don't we have our issues to solve? Al Qaeda is a product of Saudi Arabia, Yet we are the terrorists. As long as they have they oil nobody will categorize them as terrorists. We, we can't even feed our poor, we have sky rocketing corruption, inflation, and unemployment. Nose diving currency, economy, education, morals and unity. If anything goes wrong the world suspects Pakistan has something to with it, like disappearing of Malaysian Airline. Dear Pak Government we know you are incapable of making smart, rational and educated decisions, but can you act on our advice, stay out of other people's business, don't poke your nose where it doesn't belong.
Sufi Mateen Mar 20, 2014 03:21am

Pakistan welcome our honored guests from Bahrain. They gave Gawadar to Pakistan almost 55 years ago and we indebted for their gesture.

joe smith Mar 20, 2014 03:33am

They were recruiting only Sunnis for their security forces. The Shia majority was demanding its rights. Since the US 5th fleet is stationed in Bahrain, we looked the other way. The Saudi's also sent in troops to crush the uprising.

KK Mar 20, 2014 04:04am

I agree with Karachi Wala and Farhan. These Pakistani leaders know that nothing will happen to them. Infact they will make commissions worth billions of dollars, while the poor nation will pay the price in blood and tears. Why don't these Arabs ask India to do their dirty work? Indians outnumber Pakistanis by about 10:1 in Middle Eastern countries. Pakistanis are mostly doing the dirty low level menial work over there and are treated like animals by these "brotherly Arabs". They respect Indians more than Pakistanis and treat white Europeans and Americans like gods. These nations know how to demand and earn respect out of everyone. Now we are selling ourselves for peanuts and rushing head-on into a new chapter of animosity with another neighbor; Iran. Iran did not fire the first shot, but we are provoking them by poking them in the eye. Why are we helping these arrogant Arab leaders to maintain their dictatorships and in the process buying Iranian anger and retaliation? Are these leaders crazy? We will have three hostile nations on our borders: India, Afghanistan and now Iran. Would these Arabs come to our rescue in case of a two or three front war? They gave us the radical and intolerant form of Islam by supporting and financing radical madrasas. Generals and politicians alike sell Pakistan and its poor citizens for fist full of dollars. Hate to say this, but indeed Pakistan was a mistake, hijacked by greedy self-centered Generals and illiterate feudal lords, known as politicians. I see no hope and no savior in that country. May God have mercy on Pakistan and give it an honest, sincere and nationalist government for once - otherwise it's all over.

Matteroffact Mar 20, 2014 04:08am

'..brotherly relations' ?

Give me a break brother!

Moin Ul Haque Mar 20, 2014 04:17am

This marks the beginning of what seems like the end of all we have loved and cherished... which, because of our collective naivete, may soon be lost. Heartbreaking!

Tanweer Mar 20, 2014 04:24am

Guns for hire. This is an end game. Starting soon ...... A big grave yard of xxxx army in Bahrain.

justbecoz Mar 20, 2014 04:50am

ruler of bahrain is not a king as you erroneously proclaim. he is a shaikh of a small island whose total population is less than nazimabad. neither has he got oil or gas. he survives on saudi dole, he rules over shia majority in bahrain with a strong police force and he has probably come here at the orders of saudis to side them against syria. if pakistan foolishly decides to support saudis in syria, they would be getting into deep trouble, coz the iranians would start such a mayhem in pakistan that we will consider talibans as friendly pakistanis.

Syed Husain Mar 20, 2014 04:52am

In developing our relationship with Bahrain, we should not forget that Bahrain has withdrawn their ambassador from Qatar because Qatar supports the return of the duly elected president of Egypt, President Morsi, and not the current military dictatorship.

khan chukhtai Mar 20, 2014 05:09am

As long as these families holds power structure in their kingdoms its perfectly OK to align with them.

Ace Mar 20, 2014 05:24am

I think it is a win win situation for both countries. We have jobless people and they have the funds. So why not?

Khangul Mar 20, 2014 06:19am

The Arab tyrants seek Pakistan's support to save them before their certain demise. We are with the Arabs not their rulers who have plundered the wealth of their countrymen and who have promoted takfiri ideology in the region..

M. Emad Mar 20, 2014 06:19am

Bahrain is a tiny island of few square miles. What Pakistan-Bahrain 'military cooperation' the King is talking about?

Last few years unrest in Bahrain due to the deteriorating relationship between majority Shia and ruling Sunni elites. Bahrain Police employed thousands of Pakistani in recent years. Bahrain authority should improve the internal situation of the island first.

ysk Mar 20, 2014 07:33am

Guys, this is international politics..Even if you dont want to do take care of their dirty laundry, you still have to go through diplomatic norms, hold talks etc. Shunning important regional players is usually not the best option. Even Super powers dont do that....

Syed (Australia) Mar 20, 2014 08:04am

Pakistan Govt. should learn from the past mistakes and should avoid new ventures from the so called brotherly countries Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. How come Bahrain showing love of brotherhood after 40 years before they were treating us with despise. Saudi Arabia is a dying monarch sooner or later this monarch will meet the same fate as of Saddam Hussein or Mummar Qaddafi. Pakistan should not involve in any such dirty games which turn our brotherly country Iran into an enemy. Do not forget it was Iran who offered his bases to our air force during 1965 war not Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. This dirty politics supervised by USA with the help of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in this region nuclear armed region will be very catastrophic for Pakistan.

under the lines Mar 20, 2014 08:27am

they are here to ask for more help in their cruel acts...

"Pakistan had in 2011 helped Bahrain quell an uprising against the monarchy by sending security personnel recruited through military

Asim Mar 20, 2014 09:05am

Pak will never learn from the Past. Following the foot steps of Zai ul Haq and Musharraf and dragging Pakistan in to a War, This is going to be a Massacre. Moreover, to let the Sons of this Pure Land die without honour, without knowing that they are going to sacrifice thier lives for the true purpose or not. Whether they will be Shaheeds or Liquidators, would really be a colossal self destructive step.
And what kind of "Brotherly Relations" ?, Despite of the Fact, that our 10,000 Soldiers are sacrificing their lives for "The Prestigious Arabs", while Pakistanis are being degraded everyday by their different Ministry Issues. The Most Important thing, Many of the Pakistani people don't know, In Bahrain they have spacial Investigation room only for Pakistani People. It is really shameful, when only Pakistanis are being called for that suspicious Process, while the eyes of other Nationalities sitting there, tell us horrible story. O Allah ! Please Help Us.

Syed Zaidi Mar 20, 2014 09:27am


We have jobless people

....they are not giving jobs to jobless people....this fund is for the Guns for them and Training to fight with them ....

abbas kd Mar 20, 2014 09:37am

@A.H.Khan: Pakistanis should start paying taxes & their electricity bill so that their government does have to take handouts from other governments all the time to feed the nation. Energy sector, PIA, PR, roads, schools, hospitals, economy & not to mention the daily terror & slaughter in that country, all these needs fixing with cash, who is going to pay for it all if no one their pays taxes or even their own bills ?

Ozz Mar 20, 2014 09:40am

What's wrong with providing services for money? Isn't that what everyone else is doing?

We have the muscle, and its a very good sign that we have ruling regimes of first world countries turning to us...rather than the West, in order to help strengthen their hold in their countries. Cash on it....

kashif Mar 20, 2014 09:41am

Pakistani nation are being geared up, for being fuel of, another never ever ending proxy war. Now all the political jokers of Pakistan should stop accusing Musharraf. We are about (all ready infact) in a black hole.........

Imran Ahmed Mar 20, 2014 09:47am

@Ace: As long as we are not ignoring the murders or becoming accomplices in the murders of Shia Muslims, here and in the Middle East.

Wijdan Mar 20, 2014 10:02am

Great : At last this new government is doing much better to boost economy. we need to appreciate such efforts in order to bring prosperity. we need to look ahead for such defense and economic ties with other states.

Aziz Mar 20, 2014 10:50am

NS is causing great damage to Pakistan. He is no democrat but just a salesman who will offer anything up for sale as long he and his cronies get a cut from it.

Mohsin Mar 20, 2014 11:03am

Bahrain does not even give visitor visas/tourist visas to Pakistani nationals (non GCC residents).

Amir Bangash Mar 20, 2014 11:29am

It is good to maintain brotherly relations with Arab countries.

rizwan Mar 20, 2014 11:48am

Army on Sale?

khanm Mar 20, 2014 12:12pm

It disturbs me to the deepest core my body

shabbzz Mar 20, 2014 12:16pm

@Amir Bangash: Try buying some property or getting nationality in Arab/GCC country or just try to think about equality of rights between you and arabs in some Arab/GCC country.. You will see yourself how much 'brotherly' the relationship is between Pakistani (non arab) and arabs .. gettin nationality or equal rights is far more easy to get in non arab world aka west !!!! Still concept of 'Arab' and 'Ajam' exists and arabs only think themselves as arabs... Ironic but True !!!!.

Rizwan Yahya Mar 20, 2014 12:41pm

While Everyone pleasing this man,Quad-e-Azam is not intersted not even looking at him!

Federal Mar 20, 2014 07:20pm

@Aziz: He is not, if there is a WAR in MIDDLE EAST and people are getting killed than a Strong Nuclear power should play its role

Its like 1 lion sitting in a jungle and other small cats killing each other and LION SAYING its none of my business... If you are big you have responsibility

John F Mar 20, 2014 09:30pm

@Sufi Mateen: Correct History: We purchased Gawader from Muscat and not Bahrain and It was not a gift.

Ahmed Khan Mar 22, 2014 01:21pm

Thousands of Pakistanis living in Bahrain can't be wrong. You people living in Pakistan and are complaining about Bahrain & Bahrain's leadership. Pakistanis living here in Bahrain knows the truth and what's going on.

All Pakistanis living in Bahrain are happy and thankful to the government.

These bahraini shias which you are talking about have got everything (free house, free healthcare, free education) but still they are against the government. Almost all shias have big big business etc,,,, What else they want for living???

A Pakistani living in Bahrain.