Pakistan launches war games on eastern border
Mon Apr 5, 12:50 pm ET


RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AFP) � Pakistan's military will on Saturday launch war games allowing thousands of troops to road test new tactics near its eastern border with India, a military official said. "The exercise is aimed at validating and refining newly evolved doctrines," the head of the army's military training directorate, Muzammil Hussain, told foreign media in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, neighbouring Islamabad. The "Azm-e-Nau-3" or New Resolve exercise will mobilise 20,000 troops in the beginning, rising to 40,000 to 50,000 towards the end, he said. The exercises will involve all branches of the military, including the air force, and will focus on the possibility of "conventional war on the country's eastern border," Hussain said. Relations between Pakistan and India have been bedevilled by an atmosphere of mistrust and tensions over the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Last February, the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours held their first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai attacks when 10 Islamist gunmen targeted India's financial capital, killing 166 people. India blamed the attack on Pakistan-based militants and said talks could only resume if Islamabad took concrete steps to bring those responsible to justice and cracked down on groups operating on its soil. Under US pressure, Pakistan has diverted troops to battle against homegrown Taliban militants increasingly seen as a threat to national security in the northwest of the country -- although the establishment still sees India as the primary threat. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947 -- two of them over the fate of the Himalyan territory of Kashmir. "We cannot remain oblivious to what happens on our eastern borders," Hussain told reporters. "Pakistan desires peace and security both within and beyond," he said, adding that maintaining peace and security is the army's "key strategic policy".

Close to India, Pakistan shows military might
Sun Apr 18, 11:26 am ET

CHOLISTAN DESERT, Pakistan – Fighter jets strafed mock enemy positions and tanks rumbled across this eastern desert Sunday in a display of military might signaling Pakistan's readiness to face traditional foe India even as it battles Taliban militants on its opposite flank. While India and Pakistan regularly carry out army drills, the demonstration close to the Indian border was part of Pakistan's biggest military exercises since 1989, when the army was celebrating its role in ousting the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. This time around, the exercises follow successful operations in the northwest against extremists that have improved the image of the army as a fighting force after its popularity plunged during the military-backed rule of former President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. For a domestic audience, the army was emphasizing this battlefield role, analysts said. "It is meant to signal internally that we are back to where we belong," said Moeed Yusuf, from the Washington DC-based thinktank, United States Institute of Peace. "For the world, it signals that India remains the principal threat." There was no immediate comment from New Delhi. India generally refrains from commenting on such scheduled exercises. Sunday's exercises were meant to replicate a counter offensive against an invading ground force. They included 21 bombing runs by various Pakistani jets, displays of anti-aircraft weaponry, tanks moving in formation and round after round of heavy artillery.

Those watching — including the prime minister, the country's military leaders and politicians — clapped as targets were hit some 2,000 meters away across the shimmering, dusty Cholistan Desert. The loudest round of applause was for when an unmanned drone was shot out of the sky by a barrage of anti-aircraft fire. Pakistan has fought three inconclusive wars with India since the two countries were formed from the then British-ruled Asian subcontinent in 1949. The army, which has ruled the country directly or indirectly for most of the time since then, has relentlessly focused on threat from India, which has roughly twice as many troops. Alarmed at Taliban and al-Qaida safe havens on the western border close to Afghanistan, the United States has urged the country to concentrate less on the threat from India. It wants to see more troops deployed in the northwest and more training in counterinsurgency, not conventional war fought in the desert. Those concerns have been allayed somewhat over the last 18 months during which the Pakistan army has moved forcefully against militants in several regions close to the Afghan border. In public at least, U.S. officials have praised the army's actions and rarely berate it as was common two years ago. After watching a display clearly aimed at the threat from India, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani several times mentioned the successes in the northwest. "The world sees Pakistan as a bulwark against extremism and militancy. It is in this struggle the nation has pledged to support the armed forces. Pakistan is fully committed to the struggle in the west," he said.

Pakistan war games show of force for India: analysts  Tue Apr 20, 1:56 am ET KHAIRPUR TAMEWALI, Pakistan (AFP) – Pakistan is flexing its military might near the Indian border in massive war games analysts say are aimed at putting on a show of force for its nuclear-armed rival. All branches of the military are taking part in the exercises named "New Resolve", which despite the Taliban militant threat in the northwest have so far focused on drills for conventional war on the eastern border with India. Fighter jets roared overhead, shots rang out and tanks lumbered through the desert sands in the biggest war games in two decades in the Khairpur Tamewali area of Punjab province, 600 kilometres (about 400 miles) south of Islamabad. The Pakistan Air Force's F-16s, French Mirages and Chinese-made F-7PGs engaged imaginary targets on the ground with a hail of bombs and missiles. Up to 50,000 troops will take part in the games, which began on April 10 and will end on May 13 just 60 kilometres from the Indian border. "The exercise seems to have nothing to do with the western borders," retired Lieutenant General Kamal Matinuddin, a defence analyst, told AFP. "The way the military demonstrated its prowess by quickly mobilising troops and the war machinery showed the war games are actually focusing on the eastern borders," he added. "Our armed forces must be capable of responding to emerging challenges on the eastern border by devising new tactics in response to new Indian strategy." India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947 -- two of them over the fate of the Himalayan territory of Kashmir -- and there have been repeated shows of military force on both sides of the border. Recent tensions with India and reported new military strategy coming from New Delhi "have triggered a hot response from Pakistan," defence and security analyst Brigadier Mahmood Shah told AFP after witnessing the exercises. "Our military keeps on putting to test its doctrines on the western border with Afghanistan but we really needed to test our capabilities focusing on conventional war on the eastern border," the retired brigadier said.

Pakistan to receive guided missile frigate from US  Washington, Apr 21 Pakistan has signed a USD 65 million deal with the United States for the "hot transfer" of refurbished American frigate USS McInerney by August 31. The contract for the USS McInerney, a Perry-class guided missile frigate, was signed by senior officials of the two countries in Washington on Tuesday. Under the agreement, the Pakistan Navy will take over the vessel on August 31. The sale of the frigate, which will be inducted into the Pakistan Navy as PNS Alamgir at a ceremony in the US, was approved by US Congress in September 2008. Commissioned in 1979, the frigate will be handed over after a refurbishment that includes anti-submarine capability that has been paid for with the foreign military aid provided by the US to friendly countries. On completion of the refurbishment in January next year, the vessel will sail to Pakistan to join the country's naval fleet. Pakistani officials described the deal to acquire the warship as a major "milestone" towards further strengthening the Pakistan-US relationship. "The successful completion of this contract will pave the way for acquisition of more vessels of the same class for the Pakistan Navy to raise a squadron of eight Perry-class frigates," a spokesman from the Pakistani embassy said. "This will greatly enhance the operational readiness of the Pakistan Navy," he added. In the last couple of years USS McInerney has been involved in successful counter-drug operations. Pakistan plans to raise a squadron of eight Perry Class Frigates.The frigate is being transferred under the Foreign Assistance ACT and the Arms Export Control Act in which Pakistan is considered a major non North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Ally and is able to receive older unneeded US military equipment. image below .

Delivery of New F-16s to Pakistan Shows Deepening Relations 07:41 GMT, June 25, 2010 WASHINGTON | The Air Force is set to deliver the first of 18 new F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters to the Pakistani air force in a sign of deepening relations between the United States and Pakistan. Three F-16s are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on June 26, with 15 more to be delivered later this year and next, Air Force Maj. Todd Robbins, the Pakistan country director in the office of the undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs, said in an interview with American Forces Press Service. The F-16 is a multirole jet fighter sold to 24 countries around the world, according to its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin. The 18 being sold to Pakistan are the Block 52 versions of the aircraft, Robbins said, which will give Pakistan new capabilities, including day-night, all-weather and precision-attack capabilities. “They’ve not had [these capabilities] before, so this is a major milestone in the U.S. providing this capability, which older models [of F-16s] don’t have,” he said. “This will enable them to strike terrorists within their borders while helping them to avoid collateral damage. It’s an increase in capabilities that are beneficial to us all.”

 

In this handout photo released by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations, a Pakistan-made Shaheen-1 missile is launched at an undisclosed location in Pakistan on Saturday, May 8, 2010. Pakistan successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, Saturday, the military said.« Read less
(AP Photo/Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations, HO) ** NO SALES **

This military handout picture shows the Pakistani short-range ballistic Ghaznavi missile, being fired during a test at an undisclosed location in Pakistan. Pakistan said Saturday it had successfully tested two missiles capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for its recognition as a nuclear power. (AFP/HO/File/Inter Services Public Relations)

Smoke billows as Pakistani army tanks and gunship helicopters hit their targets during a military exercise in Bahawalpur, in Pakistan's Punjab province, April 18, 2010. Pakistan's army is holding its biggest military exercises "Azm-e-Nau-3", or New Resolve 3, involving troops from all services and the Pakistani Air Force, from April 10 to May 20, according to local media.… Read more »
REUTERS/ Christopher Allbritton (INDIA - Tags: MILITARY)

In this handout photograph released by Inter Services Public Relations on May 8, a Hatf III (Ghaznavi) short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile is launched from undisclosed location in Pakistan. Pakistan said Saturday it had successfully tested two missiles capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called for its recognition as a nuclear power. (AFP)

In this handout photo released by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations, a Pakistan-made Ghaznavi missile is launched at an undisclosed location in Pakistan on Saturday, May 8, 2010. Pakistan successfully test-fired two ballistic missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, Saturday, the military said.« Read less
(AP Photo/Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations, HO) ** NO SALES **

Pakistan's Army tanks and cobra helicopters take part in Azm-e-Nau-3 exercise in Bahawalpur, Pakistan on Saturday, April 17, 2010. Pakistani military is holding its largest military exercise in two decades in southeastern Pakistan. The monthlong operation, which started Saturday, will involve some 20,000 troops backed by tanks, artillery and air power, the army said in a statement.« Read less
(AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

Pakistan tanks hit targets as they take part in a military exercise in Bahawalpur on April 18. Pakistan is flexing its military might near the Indian border in massive war games analysts say are aimed at putting on a show of force for its nuclear-armed rival.… Read more »
(AFP/Aamir Qureshi)

Pakistan's Army tanks and cobra helicopters take part in Azm-e-Nau-3 exercise in Cholistan Desert near Bahawalpur, Pakistan Sunday, April 18, 2010. Fighter jets strafed mock enemy positions and tanks rumbled across this eastern desert in a display of military might signaling Pakistan's readiness to face traditional foe India even as it battles Taliban militants on its opposite flank.« Read less
(AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

Pakistani army tanks take part in a military exercise in Bahawalpur, in Pakistan's Punjab province, April 18, 2010. Pakistan's army is holding its biggest military exercises "Azm-e-Nau-3", or New Resolve 3, involving troops from all services and the Pakistani Air Force, from April 10 to May 20, according to local media.… Read more »
REUTERS/ Christopher Allbritton (INDIA - Tags: MILITARY)

Pakistan Army tanks take part in Azm-e-Nau-3 exercise in Cholistan Desert near Bahawalpur, Pakistan Sunday, April 18, 2010. Fighter jets strafed mock enemy positions and tanks rumbled across this eastern desert in a display of military might signaling Pakistan's readiness to face traditional foe India even as it battles Taliban militants on its opposite flank.« Read less
(AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

Pakistan tanks hit targets as they take part in a military exercise in Bahawalpur on April 18. Pakistan is flexing its military might near the Indian border in massive war games analysts say are aimed at putting on a show of force for its nuclear-armed rival.… Read more »
(AFP/Aamir Qureshi)

Pakistan Army tanks take part in Azm-e-Nau-3 exercise in Cholistan Desert near Bahawalpur, Pakistan Sunday, April 18, 2010. Fighter jets strafed mock enemy positions and tanks rumbled across this eastern desert in a display of military might signaling Pakistan's readiness to face traditional foe India even as it battles Taliban militants on its opposite flank.« Read less
(AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

In this Saturday, July 3, 2010 photo, Chinese soldiers take part in a China-Pakistan joint anti-terrorism drill in Qingtongxia, in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. (AP Photo) ** CHINA OUT **

In this Sunday, July 4, 2010 photo, a Pakistani soldier holds ‘hostiles’ at gun point in a China-Pakistan joint anti-terrorism drill in Qingtongxia, in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. (AP Photo) ** CHINA OUT **

Pakistan children walk on dead baby whale trapped in a shallow water along the coastal line of Karachi, Pakistan on Monday, July 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

Pakistan children sit on a dead baby whale trapped in a shallow waters along the coastal line of Karachi, Pakistan on Monday, July 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)