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Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa  meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.— Photo courtesy Arab News
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.— Photo courtesy Arab News

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa returned from a three-day visit to the Middle East on Tuesday, military sources told Dawn.

The army chief’s ‘quiet’ visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia coincided with a meeting of representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US in Muscat to revive the stalled Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).

On Saturday, Gen Bajwa met Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, as well as other key Emirati leaders.

He thanked the UAE government for extending “humanitarian assistance” to Pakistanis residing in the country, according to Arab News.

He later flew to Saudi Arabia to attend the inaugural session of the second International Conference on C4I Solutions at the King Saud University, Riyadh. Organised by the Saudi defence ministry, the theme of this year’s conference was “Alliance Against Terrorism: Strategies and Capabilities”.

Gen Bajwa met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the conference.

There was no official word on the army chief’s meetings or the trip, which was shrouded in secrecy, with the only media coverage being photographs of Gen Bajwa’s meeting with the crown prince published in the Arab press. According to Arab News, Crown Prince Salman received Gen Bajwa in Riyadh on Monday.

The army chief reviewed the scope of bilateral relationship with the Commander of Saudi Ground Forces, Lt Gen Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2017