Monday, 23 July 2012

PakIstan-Malaysia to boost defence coop

Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to further strengthen their defence and strategic relationship following the conclusion of 10th Pakistan-Malaysia Joint Committee of Defence Cooperation (JCDC) Meeting held in Islamabad.

A high-powered Malaysian delegation led by Dato Sri Dr Haji Ismail Haji Ahmed, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Malaysia attended the JCDC meeting and held constructive meetings with several top officials of Pakistani defence establishments. The two sides also agreed to the need for further promotion of closer cooperation particularly in areas of Defence and Defence Production.

Pak–Malaysian Defence Cooperation dates back to early 1959, when Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel started receiving military training in institutions in Pakistan. An MoU on defence cooperation was signed during the visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister in August 1997.

The Malaysian deference official called on the Federal Minister for Defence Production Sardar Bahadur Ahmed Khan Sihar at the Ministry of Defence Production. A day later Dato Sri Dr Haji Ismail Haji Ahmed also called on Secretary Ministry of Defence Production Lt Gen Shahid Iqbal and discussed matters of mutual interest. Pakistani officials briefed him about the potential of defence industry of Pakistan. Need for close cooperation in areas of Defence Production were emphasized by both the sides.

Dato Sri Dr Haji Ismail Haji Ahmed, who also holds the portfolio of Secretary of Malaysian Industry Council for Defence, Enforcement and Security (MIDES), showed his keen interest in areas of Defence Production during his visit to Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF) and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT).

Last year Lt Gen. ® Syed Athar Ali, former Secretary Defence visited Kuala Lumpur from 17-20 July 2011 along with a delegation to attend 9th Pak-Malaysia Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation (JCDC) meeting. During his stay in Kuala Lumpur, he held meetings with the Secretary General Ministry of Defence and Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force.

The latest inter-action boosted the ongoing Pak-Malaysia strategic cooperation which recorded a remarkable achievement during last few years.

During second half of May this year Pakistan Navy and Malaysian Navy also held series of contacts when Pakistan Navy Ship AZMAT anchored at Kuantan, Malaysia as part of ongoing close cooperation in the field of training as well as on various other facets of naval warfare.

Pakistan Navy has regularly participated in LIMA exhibitions since its inception in late 1990s and similarly Royal Malaysian Navy has participated in maritime exercise like AMAN organized by Pakistan Navy which is a clear manifestation of strong bonds that two navies share. In December 2011 Pakistan Naval vessel PNS Saif represented Pakistan at LIMA 2011 which boosted Pak-Malaysian Naval cooperation.

Royal Malaysian Air Force also undertook an active role in dispatching relief aid of 11100 kg on two RMAF C-130 aircraft for flood affectees in 2010.

Pakistan’s former Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir had also urged closer cooperation in shipbuilding industry in which “Pakistan and Malaysia can join hands in sharing and envisaging mutually beneficial projects between the two countries.”

Pakistan and Malaysia have signed a large number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding to enhance bilateral cooperation including the Malaysia–Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) - the first-ever free trade arrangement between any two Islamic countries that came into effect on January1, 2008.

The two countries have also signed Agreements and MoUs for cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism, defence, education, science & technology, media-related agreements and above all, a number of economic and commercial agreements on palm oil, housing sector, halal food, and recruitment of Pakistani workers. An Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on Income was concluded in 1982, followed years later by an Agreement on Promotion and Protection of Investments (1995).

Last year former Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani held a bilateral meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Abdul Razak in Perth, Australia on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 27-28 October 2011. The two Premiers exchanged views on matters of mutual interest including cooperation in the fields of energy, infrastructure, Islamic banking and finance, services and Halal food industry.

Chairman SUPARCO Maj. Gen ® Ahmed Bilal also paid an official visit to Malaysia on 14-19 November 2011 in connection with UN Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology (Putrajaya) and held bilateral talks with his Malaysian counterparts.

From Malaysian side, the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry Datul Radzi Abdul Rahman visited Pakistan in February 2011 and had fruitful talks with the (then) Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar. It is believed Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is keenly interested to developed closer strategic, trade and economic relationship with Malaysia. 

Asian Defence News

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