PR No.147 UK Chief Of General Staff Calls On Defence Minister (15th Pak-Uk Dcf Meeting Scheduled In London In July This Year) Islamabad: April 19, 2016

General Nicholas Patrick Carter, Chief of General Staff, United Kingdom called on Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif here in his office in Islamabad. Areas of mutual interest and cooperation in the field of Defence came under discussion in the meeting.

Defence Minister stated that Pakistan considers UK a close friend and a development partner. Pakistan has a strong diasporas in UK and like wise there is a large number of British nationals in Pakistan who serve as a living bridge between the two countries.

Both sides were appreciative of the frequent visits of the high ranking officials and that David Cameron visit to Pakistan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to UK is a testimony of special relationship between the two countries. “These frequent interactions between UK & Pakistan have paved the way for coordinating our approaches to various bilateral regional and international issues” the Minister opined.

He also highlighted the sacrifices rendered by Armed Forces and the people of Pakistan in the war on terror and mentioned that Pakistan has provided multifaceted support to international community in war on terror. The visiting General appreciated the role of Pakistan Army played in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and acknowledged that this will not only bring peace and stability in Pakistan but in the region as a whole.

The Minister also pointed out that Pakistan is trying its best to normalize its relations with its neighboring countries; however, the resolution of outstanding issues is essential. The overall security situation of the region and the country were extensively discussed.

In a separate meeting with Secretary Defence Lt. General (Retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak in Rawalpindi. It was informed that progress has been made though the on-going Pak-UK Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD), which covers the entire spectrum of bilateral relations.

The Secretary Defence highlighted the role of Pakistan as a stabilizing factor in the wake of drawdown of US led NATO forces from Afghanistan.

The upcoming 15th Round of Defence Cooperation Forum scheduled in July this year in London was also discussed.

It was reminded that Pakistan being member of common wealth and therefore attaches great importance to its deep rooted relations with United Kingdom. The meeting ended on a high note.