ISLAMABAD: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has awarded Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed with King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Class, reported Saudi media on Sunday.
“Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, implementing King Salman’s order, decorated Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa [with] the King Abdulaziz Medal of Excellent Class, in appreciation of Gen. Bajwa’s distinguished efforts in strengthening and developing Saudi-Pakistani relations,” Arab News quoted a Saudi news agency.
Reports said that the army chief was bestowed the honour for his “distinguished efforts in consolidating and strengthening bonds of friendship and joint cooperation and developing Saudi-Pakistani relations”.
According to Saudi media, the chief of army staff and the Saudi crown prince met on Saturday in Jeddah to review bilateral ties, especially in the field of military.
The ISPR also issued a statement concerning the tour of Gen Bajwa to Saudi Arabia. “During the visit, COAS called on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of KSA and General Fayyadh Bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Chief of General Staff (CGS) Saudi Armed Forces at Jeddah,” the statement issued on Sunday said.
During the meetings, matters of mutual interests, bilateral defence & security cooperation and regional peace and stability were discussed, it added.
As per the ISPR, the COAS said that Pakistan “values its historical and brotherly relations with the Kingdom and acknowledges its unique place in the Islamic world”.
“Both sides agreed upon enhancing defence cooperation in the fields of joint training, air defence, counter-terrorism and communication/information domain,” it added.
“They also agreed to further enhance cordial relations and deep spirit of brotherhood into an enduring strategic partnership, being vital players in the region with significant responsibility towards unity of Muslim Ummah,” the ISPR added.
As per the Saudi media, the Order of King Abdulaziz, named after Saudi Arabia’s founding King Abdulaziz Al Saud, is considered the highest civilian honor in the Kingdom.
The order was officially inaugurated by King Faisal on March 20, 1971, it said, adding that the earlier version of the order was called ‘Great Chain of Badr’.
According to Al-Arabiya, the medal has been presented to several world leaders, including former US president Donald Trump. The medal was recently given to other heads of states, including former US President Barack Obama, former French President Francois Hollande, Egyptian President Abdelfattah el-Sisi, and most recently to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his wife have recently visited the ailing former president and army chief Gen (Retd) Pervez Musharraf in Dubai, according to sources close to the former military ruler’s family.
“Gen Qamar and his wife were accompanied by top physicians of Pakistan Army. Gen Musharraf and his family greeted the COAS and his wife with great delight,” the source present in the meeting disclosed.
According to the sources, the visitors spent some time with Gen Musharraf and his family at their apartment while the army doctors examined the 78-year-old former military ruler, who was diagnosed with the life-threatening health condition, called Amyloidosis, in 2018 in the UAE.
Amyloidosis is a group of rare, serious conditions that is caused by a build-up of an abnormal protein, called amyloid, in organs and tissues throughout the body, says the UK’s National Health Service. If left untreated, these protein deposits can lead to organ failure.
The family of Musharraf – who has been living in self-exile in Dubai since 2016 – has yet not made their mind to fly him back to Pakistan. Earlier this week, the family ruled out the possibility citing lack of proper treatment in Pakistan.
“An uninterrupted supply and administration of experimental drug Daratumumab needed alongside associated treatment of Amyloidosis that are currently not available in Pakistan,” the family wrote on Musharraf’s Twitter handle on June 21. “It’s not easy to take a call on Musharraf’s return from Dubai where he is undergoing treatment.”
The family also revealed that they had been assured that the Pakistani government and the military establishment would facilitate the septuagenarian general’s smooth return.
“Communications have been received from official and unofficial channels that [Musharraf’s] return home will be facilitated. We sincerely appreciate these overtures since Pakistan is home,” they said.