Turkey – Pakistan 3-week joint military exercise concludes

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The three-week joint military exercise between Turkey and Pakistan came to a close on Saturday with a ceremony at the Pakistani military’s Special Service headquarters in Tarbela in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkwa province, bordering neighboring Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Army’s Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt. Gen. Syed Muhammad Adnan and a high-level military delegation from Turkey headed by Maj. Gen. Emre Tayanç attended the closing ceremony of the ATATURK-XI 2021 drill.

Turkish Special Forces and the Pakistani military’s elite Special Services Group troops participated in the drill.

The exercise focused on counterterrorism, close quarter battle, cordoning and searching, rappelling, fire and movement techniques, helicopter rappelling, compound clearance, hostage and rescue situations and free-fall operations.

Relations between Turkey and Pakistan have reached new heights in recent years thanks to the cooperation between their defense industries.

In July 2018, Pakistan’s navy signed a contract with Turkish state-owned defense contractor ASFAT for the acquisition of four Turkish-built MILGEM corvettes. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey, and the following two will be built in Pakistan. The deal also covers the technology transfer.

In October 2019, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and then-Pakistan Navy Chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.

Ankara and Islamabad have a well-established relationship spanning decades. On top of the nations’ political and economic interactions, many Turkish humanitarian agencies, including the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), are active in the country, providing assistance to those in need. During Erdoğan’s visit to Pakistan in February 2020, the two countries signed a series of memorandums of understanding (MoU) aimed at boosting bilateral trade, economic engagement, communication and cultural ties.

The trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey has risen from around $600 million (TL 4.5 billion) to $800 million over the last five years.

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