Two federal cabinet members confirmed that the summary pertaining to the agreement was part of the agenda of the cabinet and that the ministers gave their approval for the signing of the agreement.
The cabinet’s nod came after the Joint Staff Headquarters (JSHQ) proposed the signing of the agreement and the foreign ministry as well as the Directorate General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) expressed no objections to it.
According to the summary for the cabinet, FIFA World Cup is being scheduled from November 21 to December 18, 2022, in Qatar and the government of Qatar has requested assistance in security-related matters for the event.
In order to validate security and management plans for FIFA World Cup 2022, it read, the Joint JSHQ has proposed signing of the agreement.
The summary stated that the Law and Justice Division had vetted the draft agreement and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Directorate General of the ISI had no objection to it.
“The agreement contains modalities for deployment of troops for security assistance during FIFA World Cup 2022,” it read. “The agreement aims to define the obligation of the two parties, the specific specialisations, and the number of security personal to be sent by Pakistan to participate in the security and safety operations.”
Subsequently, the summary said: “Approval of the cabinet is solicited for signing of the agreement of Cooperation in the Field of Security Coverage for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 between the State of Qatar through the Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, by circulation.”
The summary was presented after the defence minister saw and authorised its submission to the cabinet. The approval from the cabinet has come just ahead of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Qatar, scheduled for August 23 and 24, (today and tomorrow) at the invitation of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar.
This would be the Shehbaz’s first visit to Qatar since assuming the office of the prime minister in April this year. The prime minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including key members of his cabinet.
During the visit, the Prime Minister Office said, Shehbaz would hold in-depth consultations with the Qatari leadership. The two sides will review the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on advancing energy-related cooperation, deepening trade and investment ties, and exploring greater employment opportunities for Pakistanis in Qatar.
Both the countries would also exchange views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest. While in Doha, the prime minister will also engage with leading Qatari and Pakistani business leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.
The prime minister will also visit the ‘Stadium 974’ in Doha, where he would be briefed on the extensive preparations undertaken by the government of Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup.
“Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close and cordial fraternal ties, rooted deep in shared faith, mutual trust and understanding, and close cooperation,” an official statement stated. “The relationship is marked by growing collaboration in all fields of bilateral interest as well as close coordination on regional and international issues,” it added.
Qatar is home to more than 200,000 Pakistanis, who are contributing to the progress, prosperity and economic development of the two brotherly countries. The statement further said that regular leadership-level exchanges are a hallmark of the Pakistan-Qatar partnership.
Prime Minister Shehbaz’s visit to Qatar would impart a renewed impetus to deepening the cooperation between the two countries in diverse fields and further strengthen their growing economic partnership.