Pak-China air exercise


ARMY Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who visited an airbase on Friday to witness the ongoing Pak-China Joint Air Exercise Shaheen-IX, aptly remarked that joint drills with China were important “to increase the combat readiness of both countries to face emerging geo-strategic challenges”. He said the joint exercise will improve combat capacity of both air forces substantially and also enhance interoperability between them with greater strength and harmony.
Shaheen-IX exercises, which are participated by Pakistan Air Force and People’s Liberation Army Air Force, are being held this year in Pakistan. They have been regularly held since 2011, alternating between the two countries. Joint exercises are held to signal a message of influence in the region and demonstration of resolve to further the diplomatic objectives. The Shaheen-IX is of particular importance as it is taking place at a time when the region is facing an uncertain situation due to aggressive posture of India. Hostility of India towards Pakistan is proverbial but New Delhi is also pin-pricking China as we witnessed recently in Himalayan region. Though both Pakistan and China have no aggressive designs against any country as they are focused on economic development but they cannot afford to remain oblivious to potential and potent threats to their security. The joint training, part of the 2020 China-Pakistan military cooperation plan, would surely play a positive role in promoting military relations, deepening practical cooperation between the air forces of the two countries, and improving the actual level of combat training of the two forces. Pakistan is grateful to China for its willingness to extend comprehensive defence cooperation the reiteration of which was recently made by Defence Minister Wei Fenghe during his visit to Pakistan emphasizing that his country would work with Pakistan to maintain close communication, enhance strategic mutual trust and coordination, push military-to-military relations to a closer level and jointly respond to various risks and challenges.