ABUJA – Nigeria has requested Pakistan’s cooperation in the fight against insurgency under an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence between the two countries.
This is contained in a joint communiqué issued in Abuja on Tuesday at the end of the Joint Ministerial Meeting of the Nigeria-Pakistan Joint Commission.
Nigeria’s Minster of State 1 Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri and Pakistan’s Shahid Abbasi, jointly signed the communiqué at the end of the two-day meeting.
The communiqué stated that Pakistan agreed to “take up the issue with respective Pakistani authorities on receipt of a formal request from the Nigerian side’’.
On trade and investment, both countries agreed to establish a joint chambers of commerce and industry to boost economic cooperation between them.
The communiqué noted that the Memorandum of Understanding between the apex trade bodies of both countries would be processed “expeditiously’’ for signing during the forthcoming visit of President of Pakistan to Nigeria later in April.
The annual trade volume between both countries is less than 100 million dollars.
On the first day of the meeting, officials of both countries had described the trade volume as low, but expressed confidence that immense opportunities abound to triple the trade in few years.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting said both countries would interact more frequently to institutionalise cooperation in the field of petroleum resources and energy.
It proposed an agreement on petroleum which would form the basis for private sector participation in the oil and gas sectors of the two countries.
Both countries also agreed to explore other areas of cooperation, including agriculture, health, education, transportation and science and technology.
Prior to the meeting, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Malam Dauda Danladi, told NAN that the two countries were working on MoU for Pakistan to train the Nigerian police on counter-insurgency.
He said that Nigeria and Pakistan had a robust cooperation on defence, which had facilitated high level exchange of visits between senior military chiefs from both countries in the past one year.
“Last year, 120 military officers from Nigeria attended various courses in Pakistan military institutions and this year at least 40 are currently undergoing training in various areas,” he said.
The High Commissioner said that Pakistan had a lot of experience in countering insurgency.
He said that Nigeria could leverage on the experience to tackle the security problems it was facing.
Last month, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, visited Islamabad where he toured the police and military training institutions as well as the ordnances factory, he said.
“Today, Pakistan is able to meet its defence requirements, it is producing armoured tanks and personnel carriers and they have just launched the GF-17 aircraft,’’ the envoy said. (NAN)