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Pakistan military spokesman hails Saudi, UAE role in fighting terror

Arab News bureau chief Baker Atyani, Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter Services Public Relations, and journalist Rua’a Alameri. (AN photo by Mohamed Fawzy)
DUBAI: Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE is “extremely important” for the region, Pakistan’s top military spokesman said on Thursday.
Pakistan has a history of “wonderful relationships” with the two Gulf states, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said on a visit to the Arab News Dubai bureau.
“This cooperation is increasing with every passing day, and we believe this cooperation is in the interest of not only Pakistan, but also the region,” he said.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE played an essential part in assisting Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, Gen. Ghafoor said.
In conflict areas where Pakistani forces had cleared out terrorists, development work had been “assisted phenomenally” by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, specifically in the field of social welfare, including hospitals and water supply schemes, he said.
On Pakistan’s continuing disputes with Afghanistan, Gen. Ghafoor said the Pakistani army had cleared areas that had been under terrorist influence on the Pakistan side of the border, but militants still controlled areas on the Afghan side “due to the lack of capacity of the Afghan forces, and now with the reduced footprint of the international forces.”
“So the issue now resides inside Afghanistan, where the threat is still unchecked,” he said.
Gen. Ghafoor also welcomed the new Arab News online Pakistan edition, launched this month, which he hoped would contribute to positive journalism.
“It’s a great pleasure to visit the Arab News setup here in Dubai and we are even more pleased to have the Arab News bureau in Islamabad,” he said.