RAWALPINDI – A Pakistan army contingent will be stationed in Saudi Arabia on a “training and advisory mission”, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced on Thursday.
The contingent will join Pakistani troops that are already stationed in Saudi Arabia and “will not be deployed outside the Kingdom”, the ISPR statement read.
The statement followed a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador, Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki, and Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa earlier in the day at General Headquarters Rawalpindi.
During their meeting, Gen Bajwa and Al-Maliki discussed matters of “mutual interest”, including the regional security situation, the ISPR press statement added.
Pakistan already has around 1,180 troops in Saudi Arabia under a 1982 bilateral agreement. The deployed troops are mostly serving in training and advisory roles, according to a report.
Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia share strong military ties. 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 military alliance was formally launched by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman last year.
On Thursday, the Saudi-Pakistani Joint Naval Exercises (Naseem Al-Bahr-11) between the Royal Saudi Naval Forces and the Pakistan Navy in the water of the Arab Gulf at King Abdulaziz Naval Base of the Eastern Fleet concluded.
The Saudi Press Agency quoted Admiral Lafi bin Hussein Al-Harbi, Commander of the Joint Naval Exercises, as saying that these maneuvers came within defense cooperation between the two countries.