Pledging security for SAARC
As Maldives gears up to host the 17th SAARC summit, the 1190 island archipelago has attracted increased security provisions from regional counterparts. Pakistan and Maldives recently signed a deal focusing on enhanced cooperation in the defense sector. The pact that was signed between the Maldives High Commissioner to Pakistan, Aishath Shehenaz Adam and the Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Defense, Rear Admiral Farooq Ahmad, aimed to provide military assistance to the Maldives as a “gesture of goodwill and diplomatic fraternity.” According to this, Pakistan will contribute vehicles, medical supplies and equipment required to enhance security during the conference.
For the Summit, Sri Lanka is providing elite units as well as police dogs from its Special Task Force that specializes in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations. Bangladesh is contributing by providing trucks to the Army, India is providing police forces and Pakistan has pledged to provide equipment at an estimated cost of $400,000. China will be setting up CCTV cameras for heightened security. The event, spread across several islands is expected to be high-risk, requiring scrutinizing security and technical logistics.