Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visits Pakistan to discuss practical cooperation, regional security and the global fight against terrorism
General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee visited Pakistan 4-6 October 2016. During his visit, the Chairman met with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Rashad Mahmood, the Chief of the Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General (Retired) Nasser Khan Janjua. The General also took the opportunity to meet with Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt, the President of the National Defence University and deliver a speech on the main challenges facing NATO and their likely impact on the future of the Alliance.
Upon arrival at the Joint Staff Headquarters General Pavel was welcomed with an official ceremony and honour guard. Meeting with General Mahmood, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the two Generals discussed areas of mutual interest such as regional stability, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and current security challenges. General Pavel took the opportunity to praise Pakistan for its commitment and sacrifices to fighting terrorism. “NATO's relationship with Pakistan is important, and we see potential for further and deeper engagement”, said the Chairman.
“The global threat of terrorism knows no border, nationality, or religion” said General Pavel after meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. Topics discussed between two high level officials centred on the potential for further cooperation between NATO and Pakistan and the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces in their fight against terrorism and extremism.
General Pavel’s office call with National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General (Retired) Nasser Khan Janjua, focused on regional security and the importance of cooperation in the fight against terrorism. “Terrorism will never defeat democracy or freedom. There can be no justification for terrorism,” stipulated the Chairman.
Arriving at the Pakistan Army Headquarters, the Chairman met with General Raheel Sharif, Chief of the Pakistan Army. The Generals exchanged views on how to expand practical cooperation between NATO’s and Pakistan’s militaries and how to build on the solid dialogue already achieved. In addition, they discussed the successes achieved by the Pakistani Armed Forces during Operation Zarb-e-Azb on the border with Afghanistan. General Pavel and his delegation subsequently flew to Miran Shah in order to get a first-hand understanding of the situation on the ground.
During talks with the Chief of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, the effect that regional crises can have on global security was discussed as well as how cooperation with partners across the globe was the best way to strengthen international security. “We have a common interest in increasing stability in the region” stressed the Chairman.
Speaking with Admiral Muhammed Zakaullah, Chief of the Navy, discussions centered on NATO and Pakistan’s common interest in keeping sea lanes free and open. General Pavel stressed “Maritime security is an important component of international security as, in an ever changing security environment, threats can come from any direction”.
While in Pakistan, the Chairman also met with the Lt Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt, the President of the National Defence University. General Pavel emphasized the importance of studying and the need for military students to never be afraid to challenge existing theories as that is how new methods are discovered. Delivering his speech on the main challenges facing NATO, the Chairman underlined the importance of cooperation: “Just as no one nation could have maintained peace in Europe during the Cold War, no one nation can stop terrorism or project stability to nations in need of security assistance or democratic reform”.