Published On: Tue, Jan 21st, 2014
Published in Category: International

Drawdown in Afghanistan: Pakistan a stabilizing factor, says sect def

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PARIS: Secretary Defence Lt Gen R Asif Yasin Malik has said that Pakistan acts as a stabilizing factor in the wake of the drawdown in Afghanistan.

He expressed these views during his meeting with top officials and diplomats at the side lines of the Pakistan France Security Commission and reiterated Pakistan’s stance for a peaceful region post 2014. He said that Pakistan acts as a stabilising factor in the wake of the drawdown. “Pakistan wants to facilitate peace efforts in Afghanistan”.

Pakistan France Security Commission met in Paris to review the progress made in security related issues of mutual interest. Both the sides noted that Pakistan and France were making satisfactory progress towards mutual co-operation in security related fields. Defence Secretary of Pakistan, Lt. Gen. (retd.) Asif Yasin Malik, visited to French capital as head of a four members security delegation and the Secretary General of French Ministry of Defence and National Security, Mr. Francis Delon led their respective delegation during the talks.

The Commission established in 2011 has been highly useful platform for both sides to discuss all security related issues of bilateral issues. This was the third meeting of the commission since its establishment. The two sides during the talks noted that co-operation under the security dialogue has contributed much to further strengthen Pak-France friendly relations and peace and security. Anti-terrorism related as well as security issues in various regional contexts also came under discussion. The next meeting of the Commission will be held in Islamabad next year.

During the meeting the French side appreciated the role of Pakistan in the region. They acknowledged the role Pakistan has played during the war on terror and sacrifices rendered in this regard.

The ambassador of Pakistan to Paris Mr. Ghalib Iqbal, among other high officials of the Mission and members of the delegation, participated in the talks.

Earlier, Secretary Defence had meetings with Diplomatic Adviser to the President of France, Mr. Paul Jean Oetiz, Secretary General of French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Pierre Sellal and Deputy Director Strategic Division of French Ministry of Defence General Eric Bonnemaison. He also held high level meeting in the Ministry of Defence.

Last month a minutes if the meeting were signed between Pakistan and Sudan and it is expected that the process of defence cooperation with other countries will continue to expand.