ISLAMABAD, Oct 18: Pursuing the policy of diversifying its weapons purchases, Pakistan this week started negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding with Serbia on defence cooperation.

The MoU is likely to be signed next month during a high-level visit to Pakistan by either Serbian president or the prime minister.

But even before that a team of defence officials from Serbia would visit Pakistan to follow up on discussions Defence Minister Naveed Qamar had in Belgrade.

Once signed, defence officials said, the MoU would serve as a legal framework for cooperation with the fast growing defence industry of Serbia.

Pakistan’s shopping list for Serbia includes armoured vehicles, large calibre ammunition, night-vision devices and the use of wind tunnels.

Serbian defence sales are not only growing fast, with big spenders like Nato and Arab countries inking big contracts, but the industry is also enhancing the sophistication of the arms it produces.

Defence officials insist that more than just looking to buy weapons from Serbia, Pakistan intended to have broader defence cooperation encompassing military education, training and exercises.

Pakistan and Serbia established bilateral relations in July 2001. Subsequently, political consultations were held in 2007 and a joint committee on economic cooperation was agreed upon.

The two countries have agreements on trade; scientific and technical cooperation; collaboration in the fields of education, science and culture; cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy, air services; and mutual abolition of visas.

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