DUBAI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Saturday met United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Zabeel Palace in Dubai.
This is the second visit of the chief of army staff to Dubai this year.
During the visit, the COAS lauded the impressive development experienced by the UAE in all domains, especially economic and cultural growth and appreciated the wise leadership for balancing regional and international policies, according to WAM— the UAE official news agency.
General Bajwa discussed with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum the strategic relations between Pakistan and the UAE, as well as various other issues pertaining to the military and the ongoing regional situation.
The COAS expressed gratitude to Sheikh Mohammed for the humanitarian aid the UAE provides to Pakistanis living there and the highly-valued development projects implemented in Pakistan in line with the directives of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Following his meeting with the COAS, Sheikh Mohammed praised the constructive role of Pakistanis living in UAE and their effective contribution to the country’s development, WAM added.
Also in attendance were Crown Prince of Dubai Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Dubai’s Deputy Ruler Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and the UAE’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash.
Earlier, ISPR DG Major General Ghafoor, in an interview, had criticised the government for downward trajectory in the economy and had said, “If the economy is not bad, it is not doing so well either.”
Besides that, Chief of Army Staff Qamar Jawed Bajwa, while addressing economists and businessmen during a seminar in Karachi, had said the country’s economy was showing mixed indicators and that the tax base needed to be expanded and economic policies continued to be able to break the “begging bowl”.
In response, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had said that the army should refrain from commenting on country’s economy and added, “Pakistan’s economy is stable and is doing a lot better than it was in 2013”.
Responding to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s criticism of the ISPR commenting on matters of the economy, Gen Ghafoor in a press conference on Saturday had expressed his disappointment at the reprimand.
“I was disappointed as a soldier and a citizen of Pakistan. We conducted a seminar with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). There were three former finance ministers, one former State Bank governor [in attendance]. The army chief gave a keynote address. I talked about it in my beeper [to a private TV channel] as well,” he had said, adding that he had only spoken about issues that the army chief had also talked about.
After ISPR DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor’s comments in a press conference, Ahsan had tried to pacify the situation by saying that his criticism of the DG’s comments on the economy was meant to point out that every department had its own jurisdiction and was not “confrontational”.