Monday Jan 09, 2023
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and "reviewed bilateral relations and the ways of enhancing them," reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) early Monday.
The SPA also shared pictures of the crown prince's reception for the army chief at his winter camp in the Saudi city of AlUla.
During the reception, according to the SPA, the army chief and the Saudi crown prince "reviewed bilateral relations and the ways of enhancing them, in addition to a number of issues of common concern."
The state news agency reported that the reception was also attended by Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman and National Security Adviser Dr Musaed bin Muhammad al Aiban.
The army chief is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) from January 4. He is expected to return to Pakistan on January 10.
This is Gen Munir’s first overseas official trip ever since he took charge as the army chief.
The ISPR had said that the army chief during the week-long visit would be meeting the senior leadership of both countries and discussing matters of mutual interest, military-to-military cooperation and bilateral relations focusing on security-related subjects.
Earlier today, The News reported that Gen Munir performed Umrah where the doors of Kaaba were opened for him.
In a video posted on Instagram, Gen Munir could be seen walking out of the Holy Kaaba with some other people. The army chief wore a black jacket and pants.
It was reported that the doors of the Holy Kaaba were opened for the top general in a display of extraordinary hospitality, local media reports. Gen Munir, who is a Hafiz-e-Quran, offered prayers inside Kaaba.
Another clip shows the army chief visiting Masjid-e-Nabwi (SAW), the second holiest mosque in Islam, with Saudi security personnel escorting him.
Gen Munir took over the command of the Pakistan Army from Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in November of last year at a ceremony held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
With the change of command, Gen Munir became the 17th army chief.
Gen Munir was commissioned in the 23rd Frontier Force Regiment in 1986. He passed out with the 17th Officers Training course, Mangla and was awarded the coveted sword of honour.
Before taking charge, he was posted as the quartermaster general at the General Headquarters.