General Raheel Sharif Offers to Train Tajik Forces against Terrorism

Dushanbe: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has offered Tajikistan to train and equipped the Tajikistan’s security forces against terrorism. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), General Raheel Sharif called on Tajik President Emomali Rahmon after his arrival in the country on Tuesday on a day-long visit. The two leaders discussed regional situation with particular reference to common challenges of fighting terrorism and reconciliation in Afghanistan, which shares a border with both the countries.

Tajikistan is facing the threats of IS (Islamic State) especially after the joining of Tajikistan’s special forces Chief Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov ranks of Islamic State last year. Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, a man who was trained by United States and Russians was responsible for the country’s security, but he lashed out at Tajikistan’s policy towards religion, which he claims is Anti-Islam. Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, former head of the Elite OMON division of the Tajik national police got trained with Special Operations Forces and Black water in United States.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon appreciated the Pakistan’s role in facilitating the reconciliation process in Afghanistan and praised the operation Zarb-e-Azb which was being conducted by Pakistani Army against Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda and other militants group in tribal areas of Pakistan. The Tajik president added that General Raheel’s visit will further cement bilateral relationship and provide an impetus to defence cooperation between the two countries. The army chief also held meetings with Tajik defence minister and chief of general staff, and visited the Military Institute and Training Centre of Tajikistan. Upon arrival at Tajik army headquarters, General Raheel was presented a guard of honour by Tajik forces.

Pakistan and Tajikistan had  agreed to stronger cooperation in energy, defence and trade and vowed to improve connectivity to further deepen their bilateral ties during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Tajikistan last year. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Emomali Rahmon witnessed signing of seven agreements dealing with cooperation in energy, industrial sectors, extradition, and establishment of Joint Business Council, collaboration in science and technology and geology. According to Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan Sherali Jononov  supply of cheap electricity to Pakistan through CASA-1000 is expected to start from 2018.

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