Pakistan could provide troops for Qatar World Cup security

Pakistan’s information minister says cabinet has approved draft agreement ahead of PM Sharif’s visit to Doha.

world cup
The World Cup kicks off on November 20 in Qatar [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

Pakistan’s cabinet has approved a draft agreement that allows the government to provide troops for security at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.

A summary outlining the agreement, to be signed between Doha and Islamabad, was approved by the cabinet on Monday, Pakistan’s information minister Mariyum Aurangzeb told Reuters news agency ahead of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Qatar that starts on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear when the agreement would be signed between the two countries.

The cabinet summary said Qatar requested assistance in security-related aspects of the World Cup that kicks off on November 20 and that Pakistan’s military had proposed the signing of an agreement between both states for the purpose.

“The agreement aims to define the obligations of the two parties, the specific specializations, and the number of security personnel to be sent by Pakistan to participate in the security and safety operations,” the summary read.

The summary did not provide any details of the agreement such as how many personnel could be sent.

There was no immediate response from the Safety & Security Operations Committee (SSOC) of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy when approached by Al Jazeera.

In July, Turkey’s interior minister Suleyman Soylu said the country will send 3,250 security officers to Qatar for the World Cup, adding that Ankara has also trained Qatari security personnel ahead of the competition.

Earlier this year, NATO confirmed that it will also provide security during the event.

“As part of the close cooperation between Qatar and NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance will provide support for the security aspects of the World Cup,” it said in a statement.

“The support will include training against threats posed by Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials. It will also include training for the protection of very important people (VIPs) and to counter threats posed by improvised explosive devices.”

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported in June that Seoul will send five police officers specialising in counterterrorism to Qatar and will “pass on ‘know-how’ in the field of law enforcement, such as security, close combat skills, arrest techniques, and maintaining public order, to the Qatari military police until October”.

Source: Al Jazeera, Reuters