Cross-military cooperation

Cross-military cooperation


PAF champions military diplomacy essential for national vision

Cross-military cooperation

In this day and age, hard and soft powers of a country go hand-in-hand. The government and State institutions often work in tandem to advance national goals and objectives that also include diplomacy at the military-level. As such, Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, in the first 11 months of his tenure, met with several military and air force leaders, as well as, diplomats from different parts of the world to bolster relations and promote cooperation.

In his efforts to promote military diplomacy at the institutional level, in line with the tradition and policy upheld by his predecessors, some of his major diplomatic endeavors included exchanges with;

The United Kingdom

While visiting Pakistan Air Force (PAF) headquarters in Islamabad, United Kingdom Strategic Command Commander General Sir Patrick Nicholas Yardley Monrad Sanders, expressed his immense satisfaction regarding the nature of relations and bilateral cooperation between the UK and Pakistan. The General also praised, the exceptional progress made by the PAF over the years, especially in the field of indigenisation. On the same occasion, Air Chief Sidhu highlighted the fact that both the countries enjoy cordial relations with one another and reiterated his resolve to further enhance bilateral cooperation between them.



On his appointment, People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong congratulated the Air Chief on assuming command of the PAF and stated that Pakistan’s Air Force would achieve new heights and glory under General Sidhu’s inspirational leadership. Rong also maintained that China would continue supporting Pakistan at all fronts as it has always has, and that military cooperation would keep growing stronger.


In his meeting with the Air Chief, Qatari Ambassador Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani commended the professionalism of the PAF and acknowledged its rising indigenous capacity in the aviation industry. Highlight, the long-standing religious, cultural and historical bonds between Qatar and Pakistan, which have led to strong ties between the two nations, General Sidhu emphasised the significance of further deepening the relations between both countries’ Air Forces.



To strengthen ties with Turkey, Air Chief Sidhu paid a historic four-day official visit to to the country and met with its senior military leadership. The Air Chief separately called on Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Turkish Chief of General Staff General Yaşar Güler. During the meetings, he discussed ways to further promote Pakistan-Turkey defence ties, particularly between the two air forces through mutual experience sharing, as well as, by relying on the respective strengths of each side. He also called on Turkish Air Force Commander General Hasan küçükakyüz. Both the commanders held detailed discussions on enhancing collaboration and exchanging expertise between the two countries’ air forces to meet the contemporary world’s challenges. The discussion also included the possibility of an exchange and training of pilots between PAF and Turkish Air Force. General Sidhu was also awarded the Turkish Armed Forces Legion of Merit, General küçükakyüz, in recognition of his services for the promotion of collaboration and ties between the two air forces.

Saudi Arabia

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Chief of General Staff General Fayiadh bin Hamed Al-Rowaily has also applauded the professionalism of the PAF. He recognised the contributions of the PAF in helping strength the Saudi Air Force over the years and showed a great deal of interest in further deepening these ties under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Sidhu. To this end, General Sidhu also highlighted that relationship between both countries, stating that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial relations. He also reiterated his resolve to further enhance the existing bilateral cooperation between the two brotherly countries.



In another show military diplomacy, Iraqi Air Force Deputy Commander Major General Muhammad Majeed Mahdi Mahmood visited Islamabad to expressly acknowledged the constant support and contribution of the PAF in making the Iraqi defence stronger. The Air Chief, in this regard, assured the visiting dignitary that the PAF would continue to provide training and technical support to the Iraqi Air Force in meeting its air power requirements. Both the commanders also agreed to explore further avenues of cooperation including the JF-17 programme.

Such confidence and willingness to expand ties with Pakistan from military leaders across the world is a clear indication of Pakistan’s military soft-power being successful in championing peace and collaboration. Furthermore, it illustrates the the PAF strategic military diplomacy is playing a pivotal role in maintaining Pakistan’s nation goals.

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