Pakistan to station troops in Saudi Arabia

Islamabad:The Pakistan Army has announced plans to deploy troops in Saudi Arabia under an existing bilateral security cooperation agreement with the kingdom.

“In continuation of ongoing Pak-KSA bilateral security cooperation, a Pakistan Army contingent is being sent to KSA on training and advice mission,” the Dawn reported, quoting Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), as saying.

“These or troops already there will not be employed outside KSA. Pakistan Army maintains bilateral security cooperation with many other Gulf Cooperation Council/regional countries,” the ISPR added.

The announcement followed a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday at General Headquarters Rawalpindi.

During their meeting, General Bajwa and Al-Maliki discussed matters of “mutual interest”, including the regional security situation.

Saudi Arabia has been pushing Pakistan to provide troops since the start of the Yemen conflict in 2015, but Pakistan has been combating to evade the demand.

According to the reports, Pakistan already has around over 1000 troops in Saudi Arabia under a 1982 bilateral agreement.

Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share strong military bilateral cooperation. Pakistan is one of the 41 members of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) that is being headed by a former army chief, the retired Gen Raheel Sharif, the report said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Raza Rabbani has summoned Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir to appear before the Upper House of Parliament on Monday in connection with the army’s announcement of sending troops to Saudi Arabia, reported Geo News. (ANI)