Pakistan, China complete military exercise

Nov. 25, 2011 at 12:21 AM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A just-completed two-week joint military exercise between Pakistan and China is not intended to pressure other countries, Pakistan's top military official said.

Speaking during ceremonies at the close of the exercise in Jhelum, north Punjab Province, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said Pakistani-China relations are purely strategic designed to ensure regional peace and stability, and are not against any other country, the Daily News reported. Kayani was joined by Chinese People's Liberation Army Deputy Chief Gen. Hou Shusen.

The New International quoted Kayani as saying China's security is dear to Pakistan and such joint exercises would strengthen their relations as the two countries face the common threat of terrorism.

Northwest China, close to Pakistan, has been the scene of ethnic violence, which the Chinese government has blamed on Muslim Uighurs in the region.

Prior to the exercise, the Chinese defense ministry, responding to media reports in neighboring India that the event was designed to put pressure on New Delhi, said it would be a joint anti-terror operation not aimed at any other country.

India and Pakistan, which both have nuclear weapons, have traditionally been foes and Pakistan's close ties with China have been a source of concern for India.

Kayani was quoted as saying 260 Chinese troops and 280 Pakistani troops took part in the exercise.

"This interaction was a unique opportunity for the command and staff elements of both countries to operate as an entity and this experience has further consolidated and enhanced our brotherly relations," he said.

Hou said Pakistan and China are close, friendly countries.

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