Pakistan needs to be ready for external threats: Army chief

Islamabad, Feb 26 (IANS) The Pakistan Army has concluded large-scale military exercises in the Cholistan desert, and its chief General Raheel Sharif said the military was ready for “the full spectrum of threats”.

“We have to remain ready for the full spectrum of threats,” said the army chief, according to DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Bajwa.

The exercise involved large-scale integrated manoeuvres of infantry, mechanised, armoured, army aviation and Pakistan Air Force assets.

The scope of the exercise included offensive and defensive manoeuvres by the army to ensure complete dominance of the battlefield, in any conventional war scenario.

The formations and units involved were undergoing the exercises under strenuous field conditions for more than one month, and the final phase of the exercises along with the validation was underway.

“With our current achievements in the ongoing war against terrorism, and our standard of training for conventional warfare, Pakistan Army is the best army in the world,” said Gen Sharif while expressing his satisfaction after the conclusion of the exercises.

The large-scale manoeuvres were being conducted by the XXX Corps and XXXI Corps, formations which are tasked with waging war in the deserts of Cholistan and the plains of Punjab, and holding the vital area which connects Pakistan’s Punjab and parts of Kashmir.

The area is regarded as having critical strategic importance, and was the site of major battle in both the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars.

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