Enhanced defence ties to boost co-op in edu, trade: Bajwa

ISLAMABAD - Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa who is currently on an official visit to Australia said on Wednesday that enhanced defence ties between Pakistan and Australia will help boost bilateral cooperation in fields of education, and investment in regional connectivity and trade.

According to an ISPR release, the army chief stated this during his meetings with representatives of Australian civil and military leadership.

He visited the Australian Joint Operations and Planning Headquarters and Force Command Headquarters. General Bajwa also visited the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Office of National Assessment (ONA).

He said that he was extremely impressed by the Australian goodwill for Pakistan and the desire of that country's leadership to enhance bilateral relations. Both civil and military leadership of Australia appreciated Pakistan's contributions and achievements in war against terror and acknowledged sacrifices of Pakistani nation and its army in this connection.

Earlier, the COAS was given a tri-service Guard of Honour and shortly after that he called on the Australian Army Chief Lieutenant General, Angus J Campbell, and the Naval Chief Vice Admiral Timothy Barrett. Later, the COAS also met Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne at the Australian Parliament House.

During these meetings with Australian military and civilian leadership, the COAS highlighted regional security situation and the Pakistan Army's contributions towards peace and stability.

The COAS said that while Pakistan would continue to support all peace efforts “however we expect that our security concerns are also addressed.”

The COAS said that Pakistan had improved security situation and had a key role in regional economy.

The Australian leadership appreciated Pakistan's efforts against terrorism and expressed commitment to further improve the bilateral collaboration in defence and security.