A three-week-long joint military exercise involving Turkish and Pakistani special forces began in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday.
The opening ceremony of the exercise ATATURK-XI 2021 was held at the Pakistani military’s Special Service headquarters in Tarbela, located in Khyber Pakhtunkwa province that borders neighboring Afghanistan, said a statement from the Pakistan Army.
Turkish Special Forces and troops of Pakistani military’s elite Special Services Group are participating in the exercise.
The exercise includes, counter-terrorism, close quarter battle, cordon and search, rappelling, fire and move techniques, helicopter rappelling, compound clearance, hostage and rescue, and free-fall operations.
“The joint military exercise will further strengthen the bond of two brotherly nations and will help in adapting the emerging trends in military modernization and cooperation,” the statement said.
Ankara and Islamabad have increased defense and military cooperation in recent years.
Turkey-Pakistan joint military exercise begins in Tarbela, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Special forces from both countries are taking part in 3-week-long exercise ATATURK-XI 2021.
Long live Pakistan-Turkey brotherhood!https://t.co/K9jo0Aqb7N
— Abdul Akbar (@AbdulAkbarPak) February 9, 2021
In July 2018, Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four Turkish-built MILGEM corvettes with Turkish state-owned defense contractor ASFAT. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the next two will be built in Pakistan which also involves technology transfer.
In October 2019, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with then Pakistan Navy Chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi had cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.
Turkey is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships using its national capabilities.
Pakistan, Turkey agree to strengthen defense cooperation
Turkey and Pakistan reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthen defense cooperation after a two-day meeting among the high-level military officials of the two countries last December.
The 15th round of Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG) decided that Turkey and Pakistan would work together to enhance defense cooperation, focusing on security and counter-terrorism, a statement by Pakistan’s Defense Ministry said.
General Selcuk Bayraktaroglu, deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, led the Turkish delegation, while Lt. Gen. (retired) Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, the secretary of defense, led the Pakistan delegation during the talks.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk