Bajwa meets military leaders in Saudi Arabia

Published August 18, 2020
Gen Bajwa’s trip, analysts say, would also try to overcome the minor hiccup in ties caused by the foreign minister’s statement. — APP
Gen Bajwa’s trip, analysts say, would also try to overcome the minor hiccup in ties caused by the foreign minister’s statement. — APP

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa on Monday reached Saudi Arabia and held meetings with the kingdom’s top military leadership.

“COAS met His Excellency General (Staff) Fayiadh bin Ha’med Al-Rowaily, Chief of General Staff, and His Royal Highness Lieutenant General (Staff) Fahad bin Turki Al Saud Commander Joint Forces, KSA,” ISPR said about Gen Bajwa’s trip.

“Military to military ties including training exchan­ges were focus of the meetings,” the ISPR explained.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have longstanding military ties, which are governed by a bilateral security cooperation agreement of 1982, under which Pakistan assists the kingdom in training and defence production capabilities. Pakistani troops have, moreover, been stationed in Saudi Arabia in training and advisory role.

However, Gen Bajwa’s current visit is taking place at an important juncture. The United Arab Emirates had last week reached an agreement with Israel and the United States to normalise ties with the Jewish state. Reportedly more Arab countries would be joining the Emiratis in normalising ties with Israel. Pakistan too, many believe, would face pressures to take position on Israel ties.

Moreover, the army chief ’s visit is being viewed in the context of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s criticism of the Saudi Arabia-dominated Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for not convening the meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers on Kashmir. However, a Pakistani military spokesman had earlier said the visit had been planned long before the controversy erupted.

Gen Bajwa’s trip, analysts say, would also try to overcome the minor hiccup in ties caused by the foreign minister’s statement.

ISPR Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar had last Thursday, while responding to queries about the controversial remarks, said: “There is no need to raise questions about these (Pak-Saudi) ties.” He said there could be “no doubt about the centrality of KSA in Muslim world”.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2020

Opinion

Crisis looming
Updated 21 Oct 2021

Crisis looming

It will be a terrible mistake for the PM, his acolytes to underestimate the strength of the wave that is about to hit them.
An eye-opener
21 Oct 2021

An eye-opener

A daring report by Indian savants could have been written here.
Past, present, forever
Updated 20 Oct 2021

Past, present, forever

Despite their close relationship, this is hardly the first time the PTI and the military have not been BFFs.

Editorial

Not just cricket
Updated 21 Oct 2021

Not just cricket

Hype surrounding the match — sold out as soon as tickets sales opened — has overshadowed the other games, as well as other teams.
Local governance
21 Oct 2021

Local governance

The court ruling restoring local institutions in Punjab should go a long way in ensuring the continuation of grassroots democracy.
21 Oct 2021

Breast cancer awareness

LIKE so many other issues relating to women’s health in Pakistan, breast cancer is not a subject of serious...
Opposition’s chance?
Updated 19 Oct 2021

Opposition’s chance?

What the opposition can do is take advantage of the cleavage between PTI and the establishment, perhaps widen it and leverage it.
Evading tax laws
Updated 20 Oct 2021

Evading tax laws

Challenge of tax compliance can't be dealt with without directly taxing incomes irrespective of source and punishing tax evaders.
19 Oct 2021

KCR delays

AS political and bureaucratic stakeholders drag their feet over reviving the Karachi Circular Railway, residents of...