Pakistan, Kazakhstan begin joint military exercise

Dostarym III joint military exercise begins in Pakistan

The special forces of Pakistan and Kazakhstan began a joint military exercise called “Dostarym III” in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday.

The drill is being held at the Pakistan Army’s National Counter Terrorism Center, located in the town of Pabbi in Khyber Pakhtunkwa province, the army said in a statement. Military officials of both countries were present at the opening ceremony of the exercise.

The exercise is aimed at developing and “bolstering coordination between the two armies in the counter-terrorism domain.” It will focus on integrated synergy, interoperability, quick decision making and swift action at a tactical level.

Special forces of both countries will take part in hostage rescue, compound clearance, helicopter rappelling and close quarter battle drills and procedures. “The exercise will focus on integrated synergy, interoperability, quick decision making and swift actions at the tactical level.”

The joint military drills are part of the biennial exercise mechanism between two armies. The first joint exercise was held in 2017 in Pakistan and the second in 2019 in Kazakhstan.

Earlier this month, defense officials of the two countries discussed bilateral relations and military cooperation. Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) Gen. Nadeem Raza held talks with Kazakhstan’s Defense Minister Nurlan Yermekbayev in the capital city of Nur Sultan. He expressed Pakistan’s keenness to expand its existing bilateral military to military cooperation with the Central Asian state.

The recent meetings of Pakistan and Kazakhstan officials focused on increasing regional connectivity through enhanced trade. Pakistani officials have emphasized that peaceful Afghanistan is key to regional connectivity offering a direct land route connecting landlocked Central Asia to Pakistan’s ports in the Arabian Sea and beyond.

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