Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pak, Australia agreed to boost anti-terror cooperation

Pakistan and Australia have agreed to boost cooperation for curbing terrorism. Pakistan will send 70 military personnel to Australia to get counter insurgency training training. This was decided during a meeting between Australian Minister for Defence Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon and General Tariq Majid, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr Fitzgibbon and General Tariq Majid discussed the significant military operations currently being conducted against militants in the North West Frontier region of Pakistan. Mr Fitzgibbon expressed his sorrow for the losses suffered by the Pakistan Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism, and for the suffering of the civilian populations as a result of the recent fighting.

“Pakistan’s success in its conflict with Taliban extremists on its soil is critical to regional and global security, as well as Australia’s own national interest.
Australia also recognises the complex challenges that Pakistan faces and appreciates the efforts of Pakistan towards maintaining security. He announced a significant increase in access to Defence Cooperation Program training courses in Australia for Pakistan Military personnel. “The Australian Defence Force is working with the Pakistan Military on a number of counter insurgency training initiatives both in Australia and Pakistan. “We appreciate that the Pakistan military has significant expertise in confronting the extremist and terrorist threat. Our increased engagement is focused on providing training to assist Pakistan in this task.”

Mr Fitzgibbon emphasised that Australia was developing the engagement program in close consultation with Pakistan, and he expressed the desire to explore options to increase this assistance further.

General Tariq Majid said that Pakistan appreciates the role played by Australia as part of the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, and emphasised that Pakistan and Australia have common interests and shared objectives in promoting peace and stability in the region.

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