Turkish, Pakistani generals look to boost military ties

Turkey’s Gen. Dündar meets Pakistan’s Gen. Bajwa in Rawalpindi city to discuss defense collaboration

Turkish General Staff Deputy Chief Gen. Ümit Dündar met Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa at the general headquarters in Rawalpindi city Thursday, according to a military statement.

Matters of mutual and professional interest with special emphasis on defense and security collaboration between the two brotherly countries were discussed, the statement said.Both sides agreed to further optimize military-to-military ties, particularly in training and counter terrorism domain, it said.

Dündar appreciated Pakistan army’s role for regional peace and stability, and contributions towards defeating terrorism, it added.

The Turkish general is leading a high-level military delegation to Islamabad where they are taking part in a two-day Pakistan-Turkey defense talks.

The defense talks, which began Wednesday, were being led by Defense Secretary Zamirul Hassan Shah on the Pakistani side.

The talks are part of the bilateral dialogue group established in 2003 to suggest policies and action plans for defense collaboration between the two countries, Defense Ministry said in a statement.

According to daily Dawn on Thursday, “at the last year’s meeting of the group, Turkey had gifted 34 T-37 aircraft and spares to Pakistan. Turkey is, meanwhile, buying MFI-17 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan besides upgrading three Pakistani submarines and jointly building a fleet tanker.”

A joint statement at the end of the current series of talks is expected to be released later Thursday.