ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Defence Khwaja Asif and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Affairs, South Africa Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on â€œDefence and Defence Industrial Cooperationâ€.
On the invitation extended by Asif, Mapisa-Nqakula accompanied by a high-level delegation is visiting Pakistan from March 26-29.
As per the MoU, both countries will establish a Joint Defence Committee to pave the way for strengthening, and diversifying through formal structures, collaborative programs, exchange of information and training of the armed forces officers and soldiers.
“We appreciate Pakistan’s defence efforts,” Nqakula said. “The MoU has paved way for military technical agreement between Pakistan and South Africa.”
Acquisition of defence equipment as well as cooperation in research and development (R&D), transfer of technology, and coproduction/joint ventures in public, as well as private sector, also fall within the domain of the MoU.
Both countries agreed to exchange information for efforts to fight terrorism.
“Pakistan has made significant achievements in the war against terrorism,” said Asif. He further stated that Pakistan’s armed forces successfully destroyed terrorist hideouts and helped displaced families. “Pakistan stands among the countries most actively fighting the war against terrorism,” he said.
During the meeting in Islamabad, Asif said Pakistan is reducing its dependence to purchase arms and defence weapons on the West. “We are strengthening ties with allies like South Africa.”
Mapisa-Nqakula said South Africa is interested in purchasing fighter jets. “We will further discussions about the purchase of Super Mushtaq jet,” she said.
The South African minister met Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters today.
During the meeting, views were exchanged on issues of mutual interest including defence and security cooperation between both the countries and overall regional security situation.
The minister expressed her appreciation for Pakistan armyâ€™s achievements in the elimination of terrorism from the country.
The delegation expressed appreciation at the warm welcome and reception and stated that it looks forward to furthering cooperation in the letter and spirit of the signed MoU.