A Pakistani army contingent left for Qatar yesterday to provide security at the FIFA World Cup which kicks off next month.
According to Radio Pakistan, the security contingent departed from Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi and consists of army officers, Junior Commissioned Officers and other Pakistani military personnel.
The move comes follows a draft agreement was approved by the federal cabinet in August to send troops at the request of the Qatari government, who are said to be anticipating the arrival of 2.1 million visitors for the tournament, with the tiny Gulf state’s population reportedly surging by 13 per cent in the build up to the event.
— Ayaz Gul (@AyazGul64) October 10, 2022
The decision was made in the same month that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited Doha on an official two-day trip seeking Qatari investment and financial support amid the country’s economic turmoil. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) announced that it would pump $3 billion in key sectors of Pakistan’s economy.
Last month the contingent received training on security by FIFA’s eight-member training team during their visit to Pakistan.
Other countries have also signed agreements with Qatar to provide troops and training for the host nation, including the US, Britain, Morocco and Turkiye. Last week, the Turkish parliament ratified a motion to deploy soldiers in Qatar for six months to help boost security for the World Cup.
According to a protocol signed between Turkiye and Qatar, Ankara will send over 3,000 riot police, bomb specialists and sniffer dogs for the World Cup, which will run between 21 November and 18 December.