Gen Bajwa’s visit to enhance Pak-Britain defence relations


Nation special report
LONDON: Pakistan Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa who arrived here on Wednesday previous week on a three-day official visit, discussed various issues of mutual interest and concern with his British counterpart and other high defence officials.

General Bajwa also held meetings with Gareth Baley (Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan), Gavin Williamson MP (Secretary of State for Fefence), Mark Sedwill (National Security Adviser) and other military and civilian leadership and discussed regional, bilateral and professional matters. The talks related to forging mutual cooperation between two sides also took place.

During the meeting with Gareth Baley, Pak-Afghan tensed relations, establishment of peace in Afghanistan and region and particularly the Indian role in process of talks were discussed in detail.

Gen Bajwa held a meeting with British Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nicholas Carter and they discussed a number of issues including the prospects of peace and prevailing situation in South Asia. Pak-Afghan relations and regional situation also came under discussion. Gen Bajwa was also presented guard of honour.

He acknowledged Pakistan Army’s achievements in the fight against terrorism and its continued efforts for peace and stability in the region. General Carter said the United Kingdom greatly appreciates Pakistan’s sacrifices in this regard.

Summarising the visit, DG-ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghaffor said on Friday that during these meetings, Gen Bajwa acquainted British officials that Pakistan was “moving steadily towards enhanced stability and is ready to take the Pakistan-UK bilateral security relationship to the next level for mutual benefit, and in other fields of common interests”.

Following the guard of honour and meeting with UK Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Sir Nicholson Carter, delegation-level talks on cooperation and the security environment were held.

During the meetings, the “evolving regional security environment” was discussed along with matters of mutual interest. The discussions ranged from the bilateral bond created by the sizeable Pakistan diaspora in Britain as well as shared interests in evolving global geopolitical and geo-economic environment,” Asif Ghafoor said adding that the British leadership also commended Pakistan for its “positive efforts” for regional peace and stability.

He claimed that the British officials were unanimous in acknowledging Pakistan’s extraordinary achievements in Counter Terrorism and commended the improved security situation in Pakistan.