Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5

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Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5
Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5 :File Photo

Russian special forces arrived in Pakistan to take part in Druzhba 5 (Friendship 2020) exercise, Pakistan military said.

Military exercise, held annually since 2016, designed to strengthen defense ties.

Pakistan and Russian forces will take part in a joint military exercise to be held in northern Pakistan this weekend. More than 70 Russian troops arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to take part in Druzhba 5 (Friendship 2020) exercise, Pakistan military said in a statement.

“The exercise is aimed at sharing both armies’ experiences in counter terrorism domain,” Pakistan military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a tweet. Sky diving and hostage rescue operations will be the highlights of training, the official statement added.

Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5
Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5 :File Photo

The two-week-long drill to commence on November 8 will be held at special operations training ground in Tarbela in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and also at the National Counter terrorism Center in Pabbi.

Around 70 troops and officers from each side will be participating in the exercise that will continue till November 21. The Russian servicemen belong to special forces group of the 49th combined-arms army of the Southern Military District.

The Russian defense ministry said the exercise was intended to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries and it was being held under the framework of international military cooperation. “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 defense ministry added.

The Druzhba exercises are held annually since 2016 alternating between Pakistan and Russia. Pakistan is hosting the drills for the third time.

The joint drill offers Islamabad and Moscow opportunity to expand military collaboration in security, defense and counter-terrorism operations.

Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5
Russian commandos arrive in Islamabad for Druzhba 5 :File Photo

This year, due to the coronavirus situation, the military drill will be held in compliance with all measures to prevent the spread of infection. “All Russian military personnel were tested for COVID-19 before leaving for the exercise.”

In September this year, a contingent of the Pakistan armed forces participated in the multinational military exercises ‘Kavkaz 2020’ held in Astrakhan in southern Russia. Earlier, Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza held a meeting with Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russian Federation, General Valery V. Gerasimov, during his visit to Moscow to discuss military cooperation and regional security dynamics.