BANGKOK: Three officers of the Thai Armed Forces, who graduated from the Command & Staff College, Quetta were awarded Centenary Medals here on Wednesday. Ambassador of Pakistan Sohail Mahmood conferred the medals during an impressive investiture ceremony held at the Pakistan Embassy. General Dapong Ratanasuwan, Chief of Staff Royal Thai Army (RTA), was the Guest of Honour at the ceremony, attended by a large number of senior officers of the Thai Armed Forces, members of the Diplomatic and Military Attach’ Corps in Thailand and the Pakistani community.The Centenary Medals were instituted upon the completion of 100 years of the Command & Staff College, Quetta in 2005. The tradition of Thai officers attending the Command & Staff College at Quetta dates back to the 1950s. The recipients of the Centenary Medals at the ceremony included Col.Vajira Kirtinandana (graduated 1997), Col. Kajohnrit Nilkamhaeng (1995) and Wing Commander Watchara Sakunrat (2004).Speaking on behalf of the officers, Col Vajira expressed deep gratitude to the Command & Staff College and fondly recalled their experience while attending this premier institution of military training in Pakistan and the region.
He said the Thai officers were proud to be included in the College’s Hall of Fame.Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, in his remarks, underscored the special significance of the ceremony, as it re-connected these officers to their alma mater in Quetta, highlighted the decades-old association between the Thai and Pakistani armed forces and illustrated the rich history shared by Pakistan and Thailand.Congratulating the officers and their families on this happy occasion, he stressed the importance of further strengthening such linkages.The Ambassador also pointed out that Pakistan and Thailand were celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2011 and expressed satisfaction over the steady growth of bilateral cooperation in diverse fields, including security and defence sector.Earlier, Defence Attache Col. Sajid Raza delivered welcome address and highlighted the history of Pakistan-Thailand collaboration in military education and timing.A short video film on Command & Staff College was also shown to the participants.Ambassador Sohail Mahmood presented a plaque of Command & Staff College to General Dapong Ratanasuwan as a memento to mark the occasion. – APP