ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and South Africa on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in Defence and Defence Production sectors.
The signing of MOU was held at the Ministry of Defence where Pakistan side was represented by Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif while the South African by Minister for Defence and Defence Industry Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula.
According to the MOU, a joint committee has been formed which will pave the way for strengthening and diversifying through formal structures, collaborative programmes, exchange of information and training of the armed forces officers and soldiers.
Acquisition of defence equipment as well as cooperation in Research and Development (R&D), Transfer of Technology, Co-production or Joint Ventures in public as well as private sectors, also fall within the domain of the MoU.
The cooperation between both the countries will help open new vistas in both the Defence and Defence Production sectors, stated Khawaja Asif while interacting with the media on the occasion.
His South African counterpart said that her country gave high importance to Pakistan in diplomatic relations.
She said that the image of Pakistan portrayed abroad was totally different from that of the actual. “Islamabad is a peaceful place – I am amazed that there is no disturbance as was portrayed earlier.”
Pakistan is a disciplined country but its image is tarnished, she observed.
The joint communique issued on the occasion reads “On the invitation extended by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Defence, Honorable Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Republic of South Africa accompanied by a high level delegation is visiting Pakistan from 26-29 March, 2017.
“During the visit both countries signed an MoU on Defence and Defence Industrial Cooperation. The MoU which establishes a Joint Defence Committee will pave the way for strengthening and diversifying through formal structures, collaborative programmes, exchange of information and training of the armed forces officers soldiers.
“Acquisition of defence equipment as well as cooperation in Research and Development (R&D), Transfer of Technology, Co-production/Joint Ventures in public as well as private sector, also fall within the domain of the signed MoU.
“Being the first ever visit of a Defence Minister from Democratic Republic of South Africa, the visiting dignitary called on Minister of Defence, Minister of Defence Production and Chief of Army Staff, wherein issues of bilateral interest were discussed.
“The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans expressed appreciation at the warm welcome and reception by her counterparts, Minister of Defence and Minister for Defence Production respectively and looks forward to further cooperation in the letter and spirit of the signed MoU on Defence and Defence Industrial Cooperation.”—APP