Pakistan silently approves security pact with US

Pakistan silently approves security pact with US

IANS Photo

Islamabad, Aug 3 (IANS) The Pakistan federal cabinet has silently approved a critical security pact with the US, paving way to procurement of military hardware from Washington.

According to informed government sources, the cabinet approved the signing of the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CIS-MOA) between the two countrues through a circulation summary. 

However, Pakistan and the US are yet to make official statements on the development.

The sources also confirmed that the circulation of summary on the CIS-MOA was witnessed in the meeting of the federal cabinet.

However, the sources refrained from confirming if majority of the cabinet members gave approval of it. 

CIS-MOA is an agreement that US signs with its allies and countries with who, it intends to maintain close military and defense ties.

Under the CIS-MOA, Washington also get a legal cover for US Department of Defence for sale of military equipment and hardware to other countries. 

The signing of the CIS-MOA establishes that both sides are keen on maintaining an institutional mechanism.

Pakistan has previously been in this agreement during October 2005 for at least 15 years.

The 2005 agreement was signed between Joint Staff Headquarters of Pakistan and the Department of Defence. That agreement expired in 2020. 

Under the latest agreement of 2023, reportedly valid for the next 15 years; both sides have agreed to hold joint exercises, operations, training, basing and equipment.  

However, security experts and analysts play down the possibility for Pakistan to buy military hardware from the US. 

“Washington’s long-term interests are not aligned with Islamabad. Nevertheless, the US needs Pakistan in certain critical areas and hence this agreement serves the purpose of both,” said a senior former military officer, who had dealt with the US during his time in service. 

The other major concern of this development and its maintained secrecy is the US-Pakistan alliance and reaction of the  Taliban regime in Kabul and various militant groups operating from bordering areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  

“Pakistan was taken as an ally to the US during the time when the Afghan Taliban were fighting it out with the NATO forces in Afghanistan. Many times, Islamabad was accused of facilitating US in carrying out Taliban targets of high-profile commanders through drone strikes. And with the latest military cooperation between Pakistan and the US, seen in perspective of an Afghan Taliban led government in Kabul and surge in terrorism related activities inside Pakistan; we may witness more intensity in terror attacks by Taliban militants in the coming days,” said Tahir Khan, an expert of militancy and terrorism.