COAS Gen Asim Munir on Maiden and Significant KSA Visit as Army Chief

Fri Jan 06 2023
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Naveed Miraj

Whenever there is a change of command either in the civilian or military domain in Pakistan, the very first foreign visit undertaken by the new leadership by default is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which manifests the depth and warmth of this unique and exceptional relationship, which is deep-rooted in common faith and history.

Hence, the very visit of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, his first after assuming the charge of the Army Chief, to the Kingdom is not surprising at all but has definitely come at a very critical time given the challenges faced by Pakistan on the economic front and there is a likelihood that the Kingdom, as always, will come to Pakistan’s rescue by depositing more dollars with State Bank of Pakistan.

As regards COAS Gen Asim Munir’s visit, the invitation was extended to him by Saudi officials soon after his assumption of Pakistan Army’s command in November last year. Before embarking upon the visit, the new COAS like a true professional took stock of security matters, which also took him to the borders.

COAS Gen Syed Asim Munir has already held some productive meetings in Riyadh with both Saudi Defense Minister Khalid Bin Salman and his counterpart General Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, during which they emphasized the strength and durability of bilateral relations and discussed ways and means to further enhance bilateral military and defense cooperation.

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COAS Gen Asim Munir visit KSA to enhance strategic ties

COAS Gen Syed Asim Munir, in fact, is a well-known name in the Kingdom as he remained stationed there and trained the Saudi forces when he was the lieutenant colonel. Those trained by him have now reached the top echelons. We believe this will help both sides to give further impetus to their defense cooperation.

Both sides have always maintained close strategic relations with each other spanning over decades, allowing their governments to cooperate in the fields of both military and diplomacy.

Like true friends, both countries have always stood by each other in difficult times. Being the custodian of the two holiest sites, Pakistan has repeatedly expressed its unwavering and unswerving support for the sovereignty and integrity of the KSA.

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This is the reason that Pakistan has been forthcoming in providing a wide range of training and advice to the Saudi armed forces. The Kingdom’s recruits, military officers, and engineering staff get education, training, and much more in the military academies, war colleges, and defense industries of Pakistan.

Moreover, the armed forces of both countries also stay engaged in useful periodic exercises for exchanging their first-hand field experiences, increasing their combat efficiency, and enhancing their bilateral real-time force-to-force coordination.

This has really helped the two countries to develop an immeasurable level of trust and understanding. The very statements that keep emanating from the Saudi leadership including the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the Kingdom does not trust any other country more than Pakistan and vice versa.

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COAS Gen Syed Asim Munir visit to KSA to further broaden relations

Religion-based ideological orientation, geo-strategic location, protracted security challenges, and economic necessities comprise their outlook in the comity of the nations, in general, and in the Muslim world, in particular.

Against the backdrop of this, the KSA visit by the COAS is being seen with much importance and anticipation to take the relationship to new heights by broadening relations in defense as well as other areas for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly peoples.

The outcome of the visit will be before us very soon.  In view of the fast-changing geopolitics and geo-economic changes taking place in the world, both Pakistan and the KSA, the reliable and trustworthy partners, need each other more than ever before to secure their future by building a robust partnership in the military and economic spheres.

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