• The UAE has committed to enhancing cooperation with Pakistan on defense and military affairs
  • Both countries said they would support each other "to serve the mutual interests of both nations"
  • Pakistan is beset by political unrest following the arrest of Prime Minister Imran Khan

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed with Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir the links between the UAE and Pakistan in the area of defense. In a phone conversation on Sunday, Sheikh Mohamed reiterated the UAE's commitment to enhancing cooperation with Pakistan and supporting the country in all its noble military causes.

The UAE President assured the Pakistani General of the UAE's commitment to supporting "all that achieves unity and stability," as well as causes that "meet the aspirations of its people for progress and prosperity," reported state news agency WAM. The two leaders also discussed strengthening their links and supporting each other on issues of mutual concern.

Sheikh Mohamed and General Asim particularly discussed enhancing cooperation and joint work between Abu Dhabi and the Pakistani city Islamabad in defense and military affairs and ways to support and strengthen each other "to serve the mutual interests of both nations."

General Asim expressed his appreciation to Sheikh Mohamed for holding the phone meeting with him. He also extended his well-wishes for the UAE's development, progress, and prosperity.

The two leaders held the phone meeting as Pakistan dealt with political and economic crises due to an ongoing conflict between the government and the political party Pakistan Tekreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The unrest stemmed from former Prime Minister Imran Khan's arrest by paramilitary groups on corruption charges on May 9.

The arrest has sparked rage against the military and violence has spread across the country's major cities since. In a pre-recorded statement released by the PTI following Khan's arrest, the former Prime Minister claimed he was arrested and detained on "incorrect charges." He also urged his supporters to "come and struggle for your rights."

Pakistan's Supreme Court also ruled on Thursday Khan's detention was unlawful, ordering that Khan be released.

Amid the political unrest in the country, Pakistan is reportedly seeking the UAE's support to unlock the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tranche and revive the Extended Fund Facility program. The UAE was among the countries that provided financial assistance to Pakistan in March and April, covering some of the country's funding deficit alongside Saudi Arabia and China.

A state-imposed social media blackout to quell massive protests around the arrest of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan has fuelled momentum for him