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India, Pakistan plan parallel war games

NEW DELHI, April 6 (UPI) -- Pakistan and India announced plans to hold near-simultaneous war games aimed at testing the offensive strategies developed to deter their respective forces.

The Indian army said it would launch its "Yodha Shakti" games in mid-April in the Thar Desert. Three strike formations will deploy for the exercise, which include the T-90 and the T-72 M1 tank battle groups.

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The Indian military is drawing on lessons learned following the December 2001 attacks on Parliament by practicing self-contained assaults.

Pakistan, for its part, plans to launch military drills beginning April 10 as part of operation New Resolve, which the Times of India said will be the largest war games in more than 20 years.

The Pakistani maneuvers will involve the mobilization of around 20,000 troops and then escalate to more than 50,000 by the end of the drills in May.

All branches of the respective militaries are involved in the exercises, which are expected to focus on conventional warfare deterrence.

The two nuclear-armed foes have fought three wars since gaining independence in 1947. Though both sides have moved to improve bilateral ties earlier this year, peace between the two Asian neighbors was unsettled by the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai. Pakistani-based militants are blamed for that attack.

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