The Pakistani army is to provide security at the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the end of this year after the country's federal cabinet approved a draft agreement which will be signed between Doha and Islamabad.
The motion was confirmed by Pakistan's information minister yesterday. A cabinet summary seen by Reuters stated: "The agreement aims to define the obligations of the two parties, the specific specializations, and the number of security personnel to be sent by Pakistan to participate in the security and safety operations."
The proposed signing was given the go ahead by the foreign ministry as well as the Directorate General of the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).
The approval also comes ahead of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's two-day visit to Doha, accompanied by a high-level delegation, including cabinet members.
During his visit, Sharif is expected to discuss strengthening bilateral ties with Qatar to generate cash and investment for the cash-strapped country.
"Leaving for Qatar today at the invitation of my brother HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The visit will renew the bond of brotherhood & friendship between our two countries. We want to transform our historical bilateral relationship into a more robust strategic relationship," Sharif tweeted today.
Leaving for Qatar today at the invitation of my brother HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. The visit will renew the bond of brotherhood & friendship between our two countries. We want to transform our historical bilateral relationship into a more robust strategic relationship.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) August 23, 2022
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting is also scheduled next week where it is hoped that the executive board will approve a $1.2 billion tranche of lending, which has been stalled since the beginning of the year.
The World Cup is scheduled to take place between 21 November and 18 December 2022 to avoid the Gulf state's intense summer heat when the tournament is normally played. It will be the second world cup to be hosted in Asia after the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea and the first to be staged in the Middle East.
Plans are currently underway for Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Greece to launch a tripartite bid in hosting the 2030 World Cup.