British Army’s Chief of the General Staff General Sir Patrick Sanders arrived in Pakistan on Monday for a five-day defence engagement visit as part of the long-standing defence cooperation agreement between the UK and Pakistan. During his visit, Gen Sanders will meet Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir, alongside holding other defence activities. According to the press release, the depth and warmth of the UK-Pakistan military relationship and friendship, underpinned by a shared history and ‘living bridge’ diaspora links, is highly valued by the UK. The existing defence relationship includes Pakistani officers undertaking training at the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the Advance Command and Staff Course and the Royal College of Defence Studies. Gen Sanders’ visit comes almost a year after Pakistan’s devastating floods that left nearly one-third of the country submerged and affected an estimated 33 million people. The UK’s Ministry of Defence was directly involved in providing assistance for flood relief operations, airlifting in eight boats and 10 portable generators at the request of the Pakistani army chief. Discussing bilateral military cooperation in response to climate change-related crises will be a key focus of the visit. Belarus Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik is also set to undertake an official visit to Islamabad. Belarus is a staunch ally of Russia and is a staging ground for the Ukraine invasion. It is defying the West in its support to Moscow in Ukrainian war. Its foreign minister visiting Pakistan may certainly raise eyebrows in the Western capitals. The Foreign Office said Aleinik is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The foreign minister will kick off his two-day trip from today (Tuesday). The Foreign Office statement, however, suggested that the visit was meant to discuss bilateral ties. “The two foreign ministers will hold wide-ranging talks covering a range of topics of bilateral interest. They will undertake an overview of bilateral relations and explore enhanced cooperation in political, economic, defence and science and technology domains,” read the official handout. “Pakistan and Belarus enjoy close and cordial relations. Foreign Minister last met his Belarusian counterpart on the sidelines of 77th Session of United Nations General Assembly in New York last year,” it added.