Senator Sehar Kamran
Pakistan-Gulf defense relationship is almost as old as their political and diplomatic contacts. Most of the GCC states depended heavily on Pakistan’s assistance in raising their defense and security forces.
There is long history of security relations between Pakistan and several Gulf countries. In 1970s and 80s, many Gulf countries flushed with oil money bought state of the art equipment but local population lacked technical skills.1 A number of Pakistan army and air force personnel were deputed to several countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. A much smaller number of naval officers also served in UAE training local naval forces. The main role of Pakistani officers was in training local security forces although they also manned complicated equipment such as radars.
The recent Arab spring and subsequent incidents and their basic motives have given a chance to Gulf countries to come further close to Pakistan. Pakistan through its military and bilateral cooperation has always tried to shield these countries from various external and internal threats. The GCC is now looking towards East and recent joint military exercises of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (Al- Assam IV) are one of its examples. The following narrative of defense cooperation between Pakistan and the individual GCC States explains depth of their defense relationship.