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Kazakhstan’s General Saken Zhsuzakov in Pakistan

(By Dr Shahid Qureshi – London Post)       Colonel General Saken Zhasuzakov First Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of General Staff of Armed forces of Kazakhstan called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif at GHQ.

Matters of mutual professional interest and defence cooperation were discussed during the meeting. The visiting dignitary lauded the achievements of Pakistan Army in fight against terrorism.

Earlier, upon arrival at Joint Staff Headquarters, he was presented Guard of Honour by a smartly turned out contingent of tri-services.

Earlier in August 2015 the interfax news agency reported that Kazakhstan is to resume a program of sending military personnel to Pakistan to receive postgraduate education, under an agreement signed between the two countries’ defense ministries during a formal visit by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Astana.

“We will now look at the troops’ needs and capabilities,” Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Talgat Mukhtarov told Interfax on Friday, commenting on the defense ministry’s plans to send troops to study in Pakistan.

The ministry is planning to send a certain number of Kazakh military officers each year, he said.

“Yes, more than ten [officers]. This is not for just one period, the agreement has no fixed term,” he said.

Mukhtarov recalled that the first such document was signed with Pakistan in 2005 and expired in 2010.

“At the time, we had 67 people training there, then the agreement was suspended between 2010 and 2015,” he said.

“We are mainly interested in post-graduate education and course training. […] We are not sending them en masse, but for combat training only, as instructors. This is one of the biggest armies in the world, so they have skills in fighting terrorism, have the experience of hostilities. It is useful for our army to obtain additional skills. This is why the military-education agreement has been initiated,” he said.

It was reported that during the Pakistani prime minister’s formal visit to Astana last Wednesday, the two countries’ defense ministries signed an agreement to train members of the Kazakhstan Armed Forces at Pakistani military schools.

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