The second session of the US-Pakistan mid-level defence discussion to begin in Washington to discuss various alternatives for enhancing cooperation between the two establishments.
On Sunday afternoon, the Pakistani delegation reached the US capital under the command of Lt Gen Mohammed Saeed, Chief of General Staff (CGS). The delegation consists of two major generals and two brigadiers. Moreover, Muhammad Mudassir Tipu, the Additional Secretary for the Americas from the ministry of foreign affairs, is also included in the delegation.
They will communicate with their counterparts at the Pentagon, generally known as the US Defense Department.
Pak-US defence talks
After the Chief of Army Staff, the CGS is in charge of the second-most important position in the Pakistani Army. He is in charge of both operational and intelligence forces’ administrative functions.
The agenda for the four-day talks (February 13-16) involves increased coordination between the two defence establishments on strategic problems.
A diplomatic source stated that “this is a crucial mechanism for talks on bilateral matters.” “Defense and security cooperation, strategic coordination, significant regional and global challenges,” the insider explained when questioned about the agenda.
The insider continued, “This is a crucial arena for institutionalized dialogue and may result in additional discussions at a higher level.”
In a press release, the foreign affairs ministry in Islamabad stated that the Pakistani team included representatives from the Joint Staff Headquarters and the three services headquarters.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense will be a member of the US multi-agency team.
Topics included in Defence Dialogue
The defence dialogue will include topics related to bilateral defence and security cooperation, according to the ministry. The dialogue’s initial session took place in Pakistan in January 2021.
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Despite divergent views on political problems, the two military establishments have remained close. Gen. Asim Munir is the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff. Furthermore, Gen. Asim Munir and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke on the phone, on January 13. They discussed “areas of common interest as well as recent regional developments”, according to a Pentagon press release.
Secretary Austin welcomed Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, the previous head of the Army, to Washington. On October 4, Gen. Bajwa was welcomed for the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.