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What Accounts for Pakistan’s Troop Deployment to Saudi Arabia?

This file photo shows Pakistani soldiers during an operation in the mountainous Waziristan region in northwestern Pakistan. (Photo by AP)

  • What Accounts for Pakistan’s Troop Deployment to Saudi Arabia?
    Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have historically had close military partnership in the Middle East, and Islamabad has recently announced that it is sending troops to the oil-rich kingdom on a “training and advice mission,” without specifying the exact role the soldiers will play there.

    Pakistan Army announced the deployment decision after a meeting between Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeed al-Maliki at the army headquarters in the eastern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi on February 15.

    It came after General Bajwa paid a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month and met with high-profile officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Commander of Ground Forces Lieutenant General Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz.

    It was reportedly the Pakistani commander’s second trip to Saudi Arabia in two months, which apparently played a role in the Pakistani Army’s decision to deploy soldiers to Saudi Arabia.

    There are already 1,379 Pakistani servicemen deployed in Saudi Arabia, most of whom are from Pakistan Army, along with a few Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Pakistan Navy (PN) officials, according to security sources.

    This is while no official word on the number of additional Pakistan troops being sent to the kingdom has been released. The fresh deployment is said to be slightly over 1,000 soldiers.

    The development is notable because Saudi Arabia has been pushing Pakistan to provide ships, aircraft and troops since 2015 for its devastating military campaign against Yemen.

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February 20, 2018 - Posted by | GeoPolitics | , ,

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