Pakistan and UAE agree to explore defense cooperation

Zobaida Jalal, Pakistan’s minister for defense production
Updated 01 December 2019

Pakistan and UAE agree to explore defense cooperation

  • Top official says Dubai Air Show opened several doors for collaboration

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad and the UAE have agreed to explore new avenues for the indigenization of the defense industries in both countries, Zobaida Jalal, Pakistan’s federal minister for defense production told Arab News on Friday.
“My meeting with Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and other meetings in UAE were beneficial as these reestablished our old ties with our tried and trusted friends,” Jalal said in a phone interview, adding that she hoped “we will be able to sign some MoUs or agreements soon to strengthen our collaboration.”
During the meeting on Nov. 25 with the Crown Prince — which was attended by UAE minister of state for defence affairs Muhammad bin Ahmad Al Bowardi — Jalal said that the two sides exchanged views on several bilateral, regional and international issues.
“Pakistan and the UAE stressed the commitment of the leadership of the two countries for an enhanced bilateral relationship,” Jalal said, before praising the UAE for working toward maintaining regional peace and security.
Jalal cited the Dubai Air Show (DAS) as one of the prime examples of this fact. As one of the biggest events in the aviation sector, she said it provides the ideal platform for aviation tycoons to showcase their products and provide “opportunities for interactions at the governmental-cum-political level.”
“We have sold Mushshak and Super Mushshak, along with spares, to countries like Turkey, Oman, Qatar, Iran, Nigeria and South Africa. Moreover, proposals have been submitted to UAE, Kuwait Iran, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Qatar and responses are awaited,” Jalal said.
Work is underway to provide 52 Super Mushshak (SMK) aircraft to Turkey in the next five years, in addition to providing 10 SMKs and 3 JF-17 aircraft to Nigeria, 10 SMKs to Azerbaijan, eight SMKs to Qatar, eight Mushshaks to Oman, six Mushshaks to Syria and 25 Mushshaks to Iran.
In response to a question by Arab News, the Pakistan Air Force’s media wing said that the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has been participating in the Dubai Air Show since 2003.
“In the current chapter of DAS-2019, PAC participated in the event as an exhibitor with 01 SMK Super Mushshak aircraft on static park and establishment of an indoor stall to showcase its frontline products including the JF-17 Thunder aircraft. During the event, number of meetings were conducted with the visiting delegates, potential customers and business entitles at the indoor stall and static area,” the statement said.
The annual DAS attracts leading manufacturers from the aviation industry such as Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, Dassault, Saab, Boeing, and Airbus.
The 2019 event was by far the biggest DAS, attracting 1,300 exhibitors with 165 aircrafts on display.


US to announce 4,000-troop drawdown from Afghanistan: media

Updated 40 min 8 sec ago

US to announce 4,000-troop drawdown from Afghanistan: media

  • There are 13,000 US troops currently in Afghanistan
  • US President Donald Trump has previously indicated he wants to wind down US military entanglements abroad where possible

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration will announce as early as this week plans to withdraw around 4,000 troops from Afghanistan, US media reported.
Talks between the United States and the Taliban resumed a week ago as the parties sought a path to reduce violence or even reach a cease-fire.
They were paused by Washington on Thursday, however, after an attack by the militant group near a key US air base north of Kabul that left two civilians dead and dozens injured.
There are 13,000 US troops currently in Afghanistan.
NBC on Saturday cited three current and former US officials as saying the Trump administration intends to announce the drawdown of 4,000 troops from Afghanistan.
Two of those said some of the troops would be redeploying early, while others would not be replaced when they end their term.
CNN cited one official in the Trump administration as saying the announcement on a drawdown could happen this week, but that the “timing remains in flux.”
According to a draft agreement from September — reached after years of negotiations — the Taliban would be required to commit to certain security measures, agree to talks with the Afghan government and promise a reduction of violence in exchange for US troop withdrawal.
US President Donald Trump insisted last month on the need for a cease-fire and made a surprise visit to Bagram on November 28 to celebrate Thanksgiving with troops and meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Trump has previously indicated he wants to wind down US military entanglements abroad where possible.