Pakistani Chief of Army Staff arrives

Thursday, 20 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Pakistani Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani accompanied by his spouse Zahida Kayani arrived yesterday in Sri Lanka in a special flight for a three day visit.

He was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport Colombo by the Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya and his spouse.  

The visit of Pakistan’s Army Chief is highly significant as it is the first visit of Pakistan’s Army Chief to Sri Lanka following the defeat of LTTE in 2009. During the 3 decade long war against LTTE, Pakistan played a crucial and decisive role by assisting the Sri Lankan Government and the armed forces. The visit of Pakistan’s Army Chief provides an opportunity to the two brotherly countries to exchange expertise and also provide an occasion for further strengthening of future relationship in the present context.

Since independence, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have consistently maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations especially in the field of defence. Both nations have assisted each other during testing times in their history.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have comprehensive and mutually beneficial training collaboration for Army, Navy and Air Force. Over a period of time, a strong bond of commitment and mutual understanding has been reached between both the friendly armed forces. In future too, both the brotherly countries are expected to work more closely in the field of defence to boost peace efforts in the region.

During his visit General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is expected to meet the top leadership of the country including the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Secretary Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and the three Services Commanders. General Kayani is also expected to address the student officers at the Sri Lankan Defence Services Command and Staff College.

General Kayani will also be formally inaugurating the Sri Lanka Chapter of The Quetta Association which comprises the Sri Lankan graduate officers of the Command and Staff College Quetta Pakistan. The Command and Staff College Quetta is the oldest training institution of Pakistan Army and it was established in 1905. Sri Lanka will have the privilege of being the first country in the world where Quetta Association will be launched. The total membership of the Quetta Association who hold highly significant assignments in their respective institutions in Sri Lanka is 42.

The Quetta Association is a non-governmental, non-political, non-religious, non-ethnic, non racial and non-profitable organisation. It provides a platform of interaction to the Graduates of the Command and Staff College Quetta and provides them an opportunity for intellectual exchange of current developments in the region with particular focus on Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The Quetta Association will operate as a dynamic forum for both the defence forces to identify common threats and evolve common strategies to face current regional and global threats and challenges. The scope of the Quetta Association will be gradually enhanced, to also engage Ex graduates of the other premier defence institution of Pakistan such as the National Defence University, School of Infantry and Tactics, Air War College, Naval Staff College, etc.

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani took over as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) after General Musharraf's retirement on 28 November, 2007. General Kayani is the first officer in the history of Pakistan who held the position of DG ISI and then went on to become the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Presently in the Global War on Terror (GWOT), a major and critical role is being played by the Pak-Army.

“General Ashfaq Parvez is the focal leader behind this challenging Global War against Terrorism effort. With his superb command and prudent strategic direction the Pak-Army has successfully flushed out militants from the picturesque Swat Valley, where peace and normalcy has been completely restored. The COAS with his deep understanding of the GWOT and patriotic intent has not only safeguarded vital national interests but also brought admiration for Pakistan from the whole world”.   

As COAS he never overlooked the welfare of his brave troops and declared his first year of command as “Soldier’s Year” that witnessed extensive welfare projects for the soldiers of the Pak-Army.