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Pakistan pledges support for Nigeria to combat Boko Haram

As Federal Government continues to seek foreign support in its effort at defeating the Boko Haram insurgents, the Pakistani government has restated its commitment to sell military equipment to Nigeria.

The United States was also recently reported to have blocked Nigeria’s effort to procure sophisticated aircraft to fight the insurgents, citing cases of human rights abuse as its reason.

The Ambassador of Pakistan to Nigeria, Agha Muhammed Umar Farouq, who said his country would not relent in its effort at assisting Nigeria, said Nigeria-Pakistan relationship dates back to 1961.

He spoke in an interview during the Pakistani Food/Cultural Bazaar organised at the embassy in Abuja.

“We have a very sizable, tangible military cooperation that lasts every year when Boko Haram became very hot. Pakistan ‘s Air Force and Pakistan military have been actively cooperating, even today, Pakistan pilots are helping Nigerian Air Force.

“We have technicians, we are providing ammunitions and we are providing all the technical support to enable the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian military to be able to defeat Boko Haram. And I am very proud to say that Nigeria has done it and the credit goes to Nigeria,” he said.

Farouq, who stressed that his country would continue to provide not only military training and equipment to Nigeria, added that Pakistan would also continue to provide scholarship to students and ensure a open-door visa policy for Nigerians.

He said the bilateral relations between the two countries is strong as this could be seen in areas of agriculture, airline services, among others.

“The relationship between Nigeria and Pakistan is not based on trade and business only. It is based on those ethics and values which both countries stand for,” he remarked.

The envoy, who said that the cultural event has been celebrated over the year, pointed out that the occasion would go a long way to deepening cultural ties with Nigeria.