ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia on Wednesday agreed to strengthen their bilateral military cooperation.
The agreement was reached during the third round of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC) meetings held here. Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Mian Mohammad Hilal Hussain and Russian Deputy Defence Minister Col Gen Alexander V. Fomin led their respective sides at the talks.
The JMCC was set up in 2018 as the top bilateral forum on defence cooperation. The military partnership between Islamabad and Moscow is governed by their defence cooperation agreement of 2014. Defence ties between the two countries have steadily grown since they signed the cooperation accord.
The two sides at the JMCC meeting reviewed the current status of their bilateral relations and explored different areas of mutual cooperation, including military training, joint exercises, intelligence cooperation and defence industrial cooperation, Pakistan’s defence ministry said in a media statement.
Third round of Joint Military Consultative Committee meetings held in Islamabad
The two sides agreed on effective follow-up and implementation of the decisions taken during the meeting, besides hoping that the JMCC would continue to strengthen defence cooperation.
Gen Fomin was later quoted by Russian newswire, TASS, as saying: “During the negotiations, the sides praised the dynamically developing mutually beneficial relations in the military sphere and confirmed their intention to engage the aggregated potential in order to strengthen the military cooperation with maximum efficiency.”
Gen Fomin praised the trajectory of Pakistan-Russia defence cooperation and said its expansion was an important factor in regional security. “Development of constructive relations between Russia and Pakistan is the important factor to ensure regional stability,” he maintained.
He noted that Pakistan was one of the few states with which Russia continued to hold previously planned events despite the difficult epidemiological situation in the world.
Developments in Afghanistan were also discussed at the meeting.
Gen Fomin said that discussions on Afghanistan were held in “a profound and constructive manner.”
It was agreed to hold the fourth round of JMCC meetings in Russia in 2022.
Meanwhile, the opening ceremony of two-week exercise in counterterrorism domain ‘Exercise Druzhba VI’ was held at the Molkino Trg area of Krasnodar, Russia, on Wednesday. Special forces of Pakistan and Russia are participating in the drill, adds APP.
Mayor of Garyachi Kaluch, Sergy Belopolsky was the chief guest on the occasion, said an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) media release.
Senior officials of Pakistan and Russia were present on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2021