Pakistan calls on Turkey, Qatar to enhance defense ties

– Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif floats idea of joint manufacturing of defense equipment between the 3 countries

– Pakistan has invited Turkey and Qatar to jointly manufacture defense equipment, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Thursday, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan, reported Anadolu Agency.

Sharif made the call for the trilateral cooperation during his meeting with Qatari Defense Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah in the capital, Islamabad.

The premier said his country was ready to support Qatar in every field. He also noted that bilateral relations between Islamabad and Ankara continue to be on the rise.

Supporting Sharif’s proposal, Khalid said his country too wanted to see enhanced military cooperation and production of equipment in Qatar with the assistance of Pakistan and Turkey.

Islamabad recently agreed to sell eight locally-manufactured Mushshak training aircraft to Doha. Turkey too recently signed an agreement to get 100 such aircraft from Pakistan, according to a statement of the Ministry of Defense Production.

Qatar has also shown interest in buying the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, which is a joint production of Pakistan and China.

“Qatar sees Pakistan as a strategic partner and every effort would be made to make this relationship more stronger,” Khalid was quoted as saying.

He also sought Pakistan’s expertise in forming a counter-terrorism training academy in the Qatari capital, Doha.

“With the assistance and cooperation of Pakistan, we want to improve our military hardware to be prepared for the uncertain threat of terrorism, prevailing in the region,” he added.

Khalid also met Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, according to the military.