It has become fashionable to malign and criticise the Pakistani army for everything that goes wrong in the country. The same people ignore the positive contribution made by the military leadership to safeguard the national interests. Like any large and strong army in the world, Pakistani army does provide input on the issues related to national security and defence.
The current Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and former army Chief General Raheel Sharif has played a key role in bringing the Pak-Saudi ties to the new heights.The credit must go to both the great generals of Pakistan. Both the generals not only restored peace and law and order in the country but also played leading role in strengthening the bi-lateral relations with friendly countries. Under their command, Pakistan build close defense relations with Russia.
Both countries always kept close friendship and relation throughout the history. But the relations strained a bit on the question of Yemen war. The Saudis wanted to have an active participation in the Arab alliance against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The then Pakistani government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took this matter to Pakistani parliament which decided to remain neutral in this conflict. This decision angered the Saudi leadership. Both generals played important role to break the stalemate and to melt the ice between the two close friendly countries. General Bajwa took the matter where General Raheel left it when he retired from the Pakistani army.
Now general ® Raheel is leading the Islamic military force based in Saudi Arabia. His appointment as head of the Islamic military shows the respect and trust of the Saudi leadership on Pakistani military.
Besides Gen Bajwa and general Raheel, Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Saeedul Malki also played his part in this regard. Before being appointed as ambassador, Malki was Saudi military attaché in Pakistan and enjoys warms relations with Gen Raheel Sharif and Gen Bajwa.
Gen Bajwa visited Saudi Arabia on August 22, 2018 before PM Imran Khan’s visit and held important discussions with the Saudi leadership. His visit not only resulted in positive effects for the Pak economy but is also helping bring peace and stability in the region. The army chief also visited China on September 16, 2018 and the UAE on November 19, 2018.
It was the General Raheel Sharif as the chief of army staff who turned the strained relations into warm one. He made an important visit to Saudi Arabia and met with King Salman and other top officials in Riyadh and assured them that Pakistan is committed to defend and protect holly cities of Makkah and Medina, as well as Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity.His assurances won the confidence of the Saudi leadership.
The Saudi media credited General Raheel Sharif’s efforts to end a “somewhat cool” period in relations dating back to April 2015, when the Pakistani parliament unanimously voted against joining Operation Decisive Storm (later named Operation Restoring Hope). Observers stated that the meeting marked the beginning of a “reset” in Saudi-Pakistani ties and an end to the friction caused by their disagreement over Yemen earlier this year.
During this period, the Saudis tried to coax Pakistan to join multiple blocs: first against the Syrian regime, then against Houthi rebels in Yemen, and then a broader “Islamic” anti-terror coalition. The Saudi authorities unilaterally announced that Pakistan was a part of the coalition. Pakistan agreed to join the coalition but made it clear that its troops were there only to protect the Kingdom.
General Bajwa has a clear vision regarding foreign and domestic policies. His vision also called Bajwa Doctrine. The war that started by General Raheel as an army chief against terrorists, General Bajwa continued to completely destroy the terrorist groups. As the result of the sacrifices and efforts made by Pakistani military, Pakistan has become a peaceful and normal country.
Since the announcement from the Trump administration, General Bajwa has stressed that Pakistan will not seek the resumption of US security aid and that the country is not dependent on it. Since then, he has been reaching out to countries like China, Iran, Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia — building contacts that can reduce Pakistan’s reliance on the US and also ends its isolation in the international community. India has been trying hard to isolate Pakistan internationally but failed to do so. General Bajwa played his role silently and successfully.
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17 November, 2019