The Czech Republic has expressed an interest in Pakistan helping to train their army.
The Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif has spent a day in Prague as part of an official visit to Europe. During the visit, which happened on Wednesday, he met with top officials from the Central European nation, the deputy defense minister, Thomas Kuchta, and the Chief of General Staff of the Czech Republic military, Lieutenant General Josef Becvar.
During their meetings, General Raheel has stated via his Twitter account, that they discussed topics of mutual interest, including military-to-military relations and defense cooperation.
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It appears that it went further than that though, as a statement from ISPR, (Inter-Services Public Relations) the Czech military media wing read, “Chief of the General Staff and Defense Minister of Czech Republic expressed interest for training of their country’s troops by Pakistan Army.”
General Raheel was presented the guard of honor by the Czech servicemen.
The trip to the Czech Republic comes hot on the heels of a two day visit to Germany. There, General Raheel met his German counterpart as well as the German defense minister at the Ministry of Defense in Berlin.
Benefits of collaboration
The closer relationship between the Czech and Pakistan military services can offer many benefits, especially industrial cooperation, military exercises and bilateral training.
The Czech Republic produces a lot of military hardware which may be useful for Pakistan. The BREN assault rifle was in contention to be the Pakistan standard issue rifle, and Meopta is seen as a potential supplier for scopes and sights.
The Czechs are also experienced in the manufacturing of passive sensor technology which Pakistan has expressed interest in previously.
TATRA is a Czech vehicle manufacturer which also produces heavy duty logistics trucks, and it is thought that these could be used as launch pads for self-propelled howitzers, including the Caesar 8×8.
Pakistan – Czech Republic relations
Pakistan and the Czech Republic, (previously Czechoslovakia) have a long standing friendship, and both countries have embassies in Prague and Islamabad respectively.
In March 2010, Pakistan, represented by Abdul Qayyum Jatoi, Minister for Defense Production, and The Czech Republic’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Martin Bartak signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
This MoU promoted further military and defense cooperation between the two nations.