France lauds Pak Army’s role in peace restoration

France hands over smuggled artifacts from Balochistan to Pakistan

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RAWALPINDI/ PARIS:  Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa says cooperation between Pakistan and Russia will not only help in improving peace and stability in the region but also usher in economic prosperity. General Bajwa said Pakistan does not believe in zero-sum games but rather, integration and cooperation. Matters related to enhanced security, training cooperation and measures to further expand joint military ties between the two armies were also discussed during the meeting.

Russian Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief General Oleg Salyukov on Tuesday met with Chief of Army Staff  (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ Rawalpindi, ISPR reported. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), during the meeting, General Oleg Salyukov lauded the sacrifices of Pakistan Army in a war against terrorism.

The visiting dignitary appreciated the Pakistan Army’s professionalism and achievements in the war against terrorism. He said that the world should appreciate more what Pakistan has achieved.

He also expressed Russian desire to forge strong and broad-based relations with Pakistan.

The Russian General also laid floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada and a contingent of Pakistan Army presented guard of honour to him.

Matters of bilateral interests, bilateral cooperation, regional situation and other issues came under discussion in the meeting, read the statement. On the occasion, COAS Bajwa said that the military ties between Pakistan and Russia will produce peace in the region. Pakistan believes on bilateral cooperation and better relations, said COAS Bajwa. Soon after his arrival at GHQ today, the Russian commander visited Yadgar-e-Shuhada and laid a floral wreath.

Earlier in the day, Security Secretary-General for National Defence and Security of France Claire Landais called on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi. During the meeting matters of mutual interest including defence and security cooperation and overall regional security, situation were discussed.

Both sides highlighted the need to increase military level interactions between the two countries to bolster defence ties. The visiting dignitary appreciated the role of Pakistan Army in battling the scourge of terrorism in the country and for maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

 During the meeting matters of mutual interest including defence and security cooperation and overall regional security, the situation were discussed. Both sides highlighted the need to increase military level interactions between the two countries to bolster defence ties. The visiting dignitary appreciated the role of Pakistan Army in battling the scourge of terrorism in the country and for maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

On the other hand, a large number of smuggled archaeological artefacts from the ancient civilisation of Balochistan, which were seized by the French customs at the Paris airport during the years 2006-07, were handed over to Pakistan. Rodolphe Gintz, Director General of Customs and Indirect Rights, Ministry of Action and Public Accounts of France, handed over these rare and precious artefacts to Muhammad Amjad Aziz Qazi, Deputy Head of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, at a simple restitution ceremony held at the Embassy of Pakistan to France, in Paris.

Qazi in his remarks thanked the Government of France and the French Custom Department for their support and concerted efforts for pursuing the repatriation case in the French courts and in completing the tedious and complicated legal formalities required for repatriation of these artefacts.

Gintz, giving the background of the case, noted that these artefacts were seized by the French Customs in pursuance of French obligations arising from UNESCO Convention of 1970 on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and transport of Ownership of Cultural Property, to which both Pakistan and France are signatories. Later, the Director General Customs formally handed over the Pakistani artefacts to the Deputy Head of Mission and Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of Pakistan to France

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