Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chair visits South Africa


The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan, General Nadeem Raza, has arrived in South Africa on an official visit on the invitation of Chief of South African National Defence Force (SANDF), General Rudzani Maphwanya.

The Pakistan High Commission in South Africa on 24 July said Raza was welcomed by Vice Admiral Kugu, High Commissioner Dr Mazhar Javed and defence attache Brigadier Shehryar.

Raza’s visit comes after retired SA Navy Admiral Robert Higgs on 21 July called on Javed. Discussions focused on the history of cordial relations enjoyed between the two countries in general and the militaries in particular. The two also discussed future avenues of collaboration in the defence industrial domain.

In March this year, Chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral Mosiwa Samuel Hlongwane, paid a visit to Pakistan. He also met with Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi and discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional maritime security.

South African and Pakistani military representatives have made numerous visits to each other’s respective countries over the years. For example, in July 2021, Maphwanya undertook an official visit to Pakistan.

“During the meetings, both sides deliberated upon bilateral cooperation, security and prevailing regional environment. The dignitaries dilated upon measures to enhance the level and scope of military to military engagements between both countries and reaffirmed to continue to forge deeper ties. The visiting dignitary lauded the professionalism of Pakistan Armed Forces and acknowledged their sacrifices in fight against terrorism,” Pakistan’s Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) service said.

South Africa and Pakistan have for years enjoyed close ties and each country has hosted military counterparts. Dozens of South African National Defence Force members have undergone training in Pakistan.

In March 2017, South Africa and Pakistan signed a government-to-government defence co-operation agreement which includes industrial co-operation. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by then defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in Pakistan on the first official visit by a South African Minister of Defence and Military Veterans in democratic South Africa. She was preceded by General Solly Shoke, former Chief of the South African National Defence Force, who visited various Pakistani military headquarters and facilities.

South African delegations visited Pakistan on numerous occasions and Pakistani delegations have come to South Africa – Pakistani naval vessels also visited. In 2019, as one example, the Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Kha and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa paid friendly visits to South Africa.

The Pakistani military sent students to the Army College in South Africa while Pakistan accepted South African officers for staff college training. Pakistan also trained South African personnel in special forces roles. In 2019 the SANDF said around 40 South African commanders were trained in Pakistan. This included counter-terrorism training.