ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was conferred with the King Abdulaziz Medal — the highest award of Saudi Arabia — for his contributions towards enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army chief had paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia and called on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the kingdom’s first deputy prime minister and defence minister, and Chief of General Staff of the Saudi Armed Forces Gen Fayyadh bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili in Jeddah on Sunday.
During the meetings, matters of mutual interest, bilateral defence and security cooperation as well as regional peace and stability were discussed.
The army chief said Pakistan “values its historical and brotherly relations with the kingdom and acknowledges its unique place in the Islamic world”.
The ISPR said both sides agreed on enhancing defence cooperation in the fields of joint training, air defence, counter-terrorism and communication and information domain.
“They also agreed to further enhance cordial relations and deep spirit of brotherhood into enduring strategic partnership, being vital players in the region with significant responsibility towards unity of the Muslim Ummah,” the ISPR added.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Prince Mohammed conferred Gen Bajwa with the King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Class for his “distinguished efforts in consolidating and strengthening bonds of friendship and joint cooperation and developing Saudi-Pakistani relations”.
Gen Bajwa was received by Prince Mohammed, with whom a meeting was held on a host of issues, the SPA said.
The meeting reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries, especially in the military fields and opportunities for developing them. The two sides also deliberated upon a number of issues of common interest.
Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Staff Gen Fayyad Al-Ruwaili and a number of senior officials from both sides were also present on the occasion.
Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the army chief for receiving the honour.
“Heartiest congratulations to Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on conferment of King Abdulaziz Medal for his contributions to strengthening defence ties between our two brotherly countries. It is a great honour for the people and the armed forces of Pakistan,” he said in a tweet.
He followed up his tweet with another one, in which he said Pakistan considered the security of Saudi Arabia “as our own and are completely resolved to further cementing our multifaceted bilateral relationship including excellent defence cooperation”.
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2022