Defense: Russian troops arrive in Pakistan for joint military drills

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By Muhammad Luqman

A Russian Army Contingent has arrived in Pakistan to participate in Pak-Russia Joint Training Excercise ‘Druzhba-III’, according to a statement of media wing of Pakistan’s armed forces, ISPR.

“This is 3rd exercise as part of Pak-Russia bilateral training cooperation. The 1st Exercise was held in Pakistan during 2016, while 2nd in Russia during 2017, Director General ISPR, Maj. General Asif Ghafoor said.

The Pakistan Army and the Russian military will be holding joint military drills in the mountains of north-western Pakistan till November 4.

According to Vadim Astafyev, head of the press service of the Russian Southern Military District, the joint drills – Friendship 2018 – will be held at the training range in Pabbi town in Nowshera district. More than 70 troopers from Russia’s southern military district will participate in the drills.

The servicemen from the two armed forces will perform drills at an altitude of 1,400 meters above sea level, Astafyev added.

Russia and Pakistan have been holding the ‘Friendship’ drills since 2016. In 2017, over 200 servicemen took part in the drills, which were held in the North Caucasus at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea level.

In August, Pakistan and Russia reached a historic agreement allowing officers from the country’s armed forces to train in Russia. The deal was concluded at the end of the inaugural meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee in Rawalpindi.

The talks between the two countries were headed by Defence Secretary Zamirul Hassan Shah and visiting Russian Deputy Defence Minister Col Gen Alexander Fomin.

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