NATO and Pakistan build military-to-military cooperation

The chairman of NATO's Military Committee made an official visit to Pakistan on Tuesday and Wednesday to strengthen a military-to-military relationship and discuss the fight against terrorism.

Gen. Knud Bartels visited Pakistan at the invitation of Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. Bartels held talks with Kayani, received briefings from principal staff officers of the Pakistani Army and met with Pakistani Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Khalid Wynne.

The visit was also meant to recognize the importance of Pakistan's role in the region and as an enabler to NATO's mission in Afghanistan.

"It is important for NATO to understand Pakistan's perspective and views of the dynamics in the region," Gen. Bartels said. "Pakistan is clearly an important country in the region within which the future stability of Afghanistan will be a key factor. I believe it makes good sense for NATO to strengthen military-to-military cooperation with Pakistan."

In his meetings with principal staff officers, Bartels acknowledged the level of activity and commitment of the Pakistani Army to fighting terrorism in Pakistan. The two delegations discussed views on countering improvised explosive devices and the IED threat to troops and civilian populations. The two delegations agreed to further explore knowledge-sharing opportunities on countering the IED threat.

Bartels thanked his hosts and committed to further support of NATO's military-to-military cooperation with Pakistan.