ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Cabinet has approved a draft agreement that allows the government to provide troops for security at the FIFA football World Cup to be held in Qatar in November.
Pakistan's Information Minister Mariyum Aurangzeb announced on Monday that the Cabinet gave the nod to the draft agreement for providing troops to Qatar for the mega event being scheduled from November 21 to December 18. 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, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.
“The agreement contains modalities for deployment of troops for security assistance during the FIFA World Cup 2022. The agreement aims to define the obligation of the two parties, the specific specialisations, and the number of security personnel to be sent by Pakistan to participate in the security and safety operations,” according to a statement.
The Cabinet approval came just ahead of Shehbaz Sharif’s first visit to Qatar as the prime minister of Pakistan at the invitation of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar.
During the visit from Tuesday, 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, the Prime Minister's Office said.
The prime minister will also visit ‘Stadium 974’ in Doha, where he will be briefed on the extensive preparations undertaken by the government of Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup.
In July, Turkey’s interior minister Suleyman Soylu said the country will send 3,250 security officers to Qatar for the World Cup, and Ankara had also trained Qatari security personnel ahead of the competition.
Earlier this year, NATO confirmed that it will also provide security during the event.
“As part of the close cooperation between Qatar and NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance will provide support for the security aspects of the World Cup,” it said in a statement.
“The support will include training against threats posed by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials. It will also include training for the protection of very important people (VIPs) and to counter threats posed by improvised explosive devices,” it said.