PM Abbasi approved troop deployment to Saudi Arabia for ‘training purpose’: Senate told

ISLAMABAD:  Defence Minister Khurrum Dastagir has briefed Senate on Monday that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has approved deputation of additional Pakistani troops to Saudi Arabia for training and advisory purposes.

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He said that 1600 Pakistani troops are currently deployed in Saudi Arabia and 10,000 Saudi troops are currently receiving training in Pakistan.

Dastagir said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also hold joint defence exercises regularly, adding that troops were being sent to Saudi Arabia under the bilateral protocol agreement of 1982.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani had asked the federal minister to clarify the matter and answer concerns of the Senators with regard to dispatching the troops to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Senator Farhatullah Babar on Friday has raised objections on the deployment of army troops to Saudia Arabia, adding troops’ deploying contingent without a prior approval from parliament is tantamount to bypass it.

On Feb, 12 Thursday, the army announced that it was deploying troops in Saudi Arabia under an existing bilateral security pact. The army made it clear that its contingent in KSA will take part in training and advice mission.

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