PR No. 288 Islamabad: November 30, 2016

H.E Mrs. Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France called on Secretary Defence, Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer-ul-Hassan Shah here in his office in Ministry of Defence today. The two sides discussed the matters relating to national and regional security, exchange of information, bilateral defence cooperation, crises management efforts, early finalization of the Letter of Intent between National Defence University (NDU) & Institute for Higher National Defence Studies (IHNDS) France and arrangements for the 5th meeting of Pak-France Joint Security Commission. The Ambassador congratulated Secretary Defence on assumption of office and successful conduct of IDEAS-2016.

The two sides were of the view that national and regional security is an important and common concern. The two countries can help each other by sharing and exchange of information to monitor the foreign combatant elements involved in Afghanistan and Syria & Iraq which have become new centauries for such elements. Secretary Defence apprised his guest about the prolonged efforts of Pakistan army in countering terrorism and sought technical support from France. He also thanked the ambassador for providing assistance to the Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan.

The Ambassador gave a brief account of crises management system in France. Secretary Defence said that our NDMA can learn lessons from the French system. The Ambassador expressed hope that Letter of Intent for cooperation between NDU and IHNDS can be signed during the next meeting of Pak-France Joint Security Commission proposed to be held in first quarter of 2017 in France. She apprised Secretary Defence about the arrangements of the said meeting and assured that French side will positively consider the agenda to be proposed by Pakistan.

Secretary Defence apprised the Ambassador about the situation on the LoC and stated that Pakistan Army only retaliates the unprovoked violence by the Indian Army. It is feared that such prolonged situation can escalate due to miscalculation. Secretary Defence said that International community should take serious notice of the situation. The Ambassador assured that International community as well as European Union are aware of the situation of LoC and it is their  public position that Pakistan and India should talk together  to normalize  the situation and promote good relations between the two countries. The Ambassador invited the Secretary to visit France for the fifth meeting of Pak-France Joint Security Commission. Secretary Defence thanked the Ambassador.

Secretary Defence, Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer-ul-Hassan Shah also had a meeting with Military Attache UAE, Brig (staff) Ghanem Ali Ghanem Al-Ali, in Ministry of Defence today. He said that Pakistan attaches great value to its relations with UAE.  The DA stated that there is a lot of scope of cooperation between the two Armed Forces. Other matters of bilateral importance also came under discussion.