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Joint exercise with Russia progressing well: ISPR

Updated September 28, 2016
CHERAT: Pakistani and Russian troops participate in a joint army exercise on Tuesday.— APP
CHERAT: Pakistani and Russian troops participate in a joint army exercise on Tuesday.— APP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakis­tan Army on Tuesday said joint military exercise with Russia was progressing well.

“The exercise brings value to both sides,” Military Spokesman Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said in a Twitter update about the drills that began on Saturday.

The update came as the special operations drills codenamed ‘Druzhbha-2016’ — a Russian word meaning “friendship” — got into full swing.

Commander of Peshawar Corps Lt Gen Hidayat-ur-Rehman visited the troops taking part in the exercise in Cherat and interacted with them. Initial couple of days were spent on acclimatisation, familiarisation and other procedures, a military official said.

The exercise will continue till Oct 10. Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif is expected to attend the concluding ceremony. A contingent of Russian troops is in Pakistan for the first joint military exercise here, which was described as a reflection of the growing relations between the two militaries.

The two countries have a defence cooperation agreement which they signed in Nov 2014. It provides for cooperation for promoting international security; intensification of counterterrorism efforts and arms control activities; strengthening collaboration in various military fields and sharing experiences.

The exercise came as a surprise to Indians, who expected Moscow to pay heed to their advice against participating in it.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2016