Defence of HarmainDefence of Harmain

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ARMY Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Wednesday that Pakistan holds its defence ties with Saudi Arabia in the highest esteem, reiterating the country’s unwavering commitment to the defence of Harmain Sharifain (holy mosques) and safeguarding the territorial integrity of the Kingdom. During his meeting with visiting Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Mohammad bin Abdullah al Aysh in Rawalpindi, he echoed feelings of people of Pakistan about relationship with the Kingdom and the need to bolster bilateral ties. The desire to have deep strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia is not one-sided as the Kingdom too has always been more than willing to give new dimensions to ties in all spheres of life. This also became evident during Al-Aysh’s meeting with the Army Chief when the guest reaffirmed KSA’s full support to Pakistan’s position on all matters, especially on regional issues. And this obviously means crucial support on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, which is very meaningful in the present context as Indian forces are engaged in massive human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir and New Delhi is taking all sorts of repressive measures to suppress the voice for freedom and right to self-determination. Saudi Arabia has always extended required political, diplomatic and economic support to Pakistan especially during periods of crises but regrettably some circles in the country have been making attempts to spoil this cordial relationship. We believe that if KSA provides unqualified support to Pakistan then it is our obligation to reciprocate and extend cooperation. As for defence of the Harmain Sharifain is concerned, it is to be kept in mind that the threat is not notional but real, as we have witnessed during the last few months that terrorists launched rockets and missiles towards Makkah Mukarramah. This highlights the kind of threat that the Saudi Arabia faces in maintaining peace and security in the two holy cities, which are visited by millions of people every year. We hope that both political and military leadership would remain in close touch with KSA in reviewing this and other threats and harmonise strategies to mitigate them.