LONDON: The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, is set to visit the UK to hold high-profile security meetings with the British officials.
The army chief will hold talks with senior military officials from the British armed forces where issues of mutual security as well situation in the South Asian region will come under discussion.
The Royal United Services Institute confirmed to The News that the army chief of Pakistan will address “Pakistan Security Conference 2015” on October 1.
The conference will bring together leading thinkers, practitioners and government officials to discuss the current strategic thinking and prevailing domestic and regional security dilemmas facing Pakistan.
The News has learnt that the army chief will speak on Pakistan’s security perspective in the regional context; Pakistan’s domestic security; the war against terrorism and Pakistan’s relentless drive against terrorism, including the Karachi operation.
He will also touch on how the Pakistan Army views its current threat picture both at home and abroad. The same session will also touch upon the current UK-Pakistan security engagement.
Kamal Alam, RUSI’s Pakistan Research Fellow, told The News that the COAS General Raheel Sharif, now two years into his tenure, has taken a significant departure from the previous chief Ashfaq Kayani.
“Whilst Kayani was not proactive and had a sit and wait policy especially for Karachi, the current army leadership also with DG ISI Rizwan Iftikhar have seen domestic security as the top priority.
The northwest to a large degree has been pacified and Karachi is a work in progress.”
Kamal Alam said that Pakistan, from a British perspective, is seen as a key counter terror ally and regional security keeping in mind not just Afghanistan and India but also its wider role in West Asia and the Middle East. “Pakistan is working closely with the UK on security issues and regional stability. Its geographic position and historic relations with China are also redefining how the West looks at Pakistan particularly with the US pivot to East Asia.” Major general Aamer Riaz will address the second session where the evolution of irregular warfare in Pakistan will be discussed. Senator Mushahid Hussain will address the third session where it will be discussed as how Pakistan and Afghanistan’s security continues to be intertwined and the implications of Mullah Omar’s death and Afghan Taliban fracturing.