ISLAMABAD: Russian troops arrived here on Thursday to participate in the joint Russian-Pakistani military exercise codenamed Druzhba (Friendship) 5.
“Russian Federation Special Forces’ contingent arrived in Pakistan for two weeks long joint exercise Druzhba 5. The exercise is aimed at sharing both armies’ experiences in counterterrorism domain,” the ISPR said in a statement.
Russian defence ministry, meanwhile, said the exercise was aimed to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries, and it was being held under the framework of international military cooperation.
The two-week-long drills would formally commence on November 8 in Tarbela. Some 70 Russian troops and officers are participating in the exercise that would continue till Nov 21. Almost an equal number of soldiers are participating from Pakistan side.
“During the exercise, the military personnel of the two countries will exchange experience and work out interaction in performing tasks within the framework of training combat operations, in particular, to destroy illegal armed formations,” the Russian defence ministry said.
Sky diving and hostage rescue operations will be highlights of the exercise, the ISPR statement said.
These exercises have been regularly held since 2016 alternating between Pakistan and Russia. Pakistan is hosting the drills for the third time. Russia has, meanwhile, held the war games twice.
“This year, due to the epidemiological situation in the world, the stages of the exercise will be held in compliance with all measures to prevent spread of the new coronavirus infection. All Russian military personnel were tested for Covid-19 before leaving for the exercise,” the Russian defence ministry said.
Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2020