Army chief General Raheel Sharif has said that the armies of Pakistan and China are enjoying ‘special relationship’ which will grow to unprecedented heights. His remarks came during a visit to Bahadur Ranges near Attock, where he witnessed a Pakistan-China field exercise, codenamed ‘Warrior-III’, on Tuesday.
According to the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the special forces of Pakistan Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a seven-week-long exercise with a focus on counter-terrorism operations. A high-level Chinese military delegation under General Li Fayi represented the PLA at the closing ceremony.
Gen Raheel congratulated all participants of the exercise for displaying superior professional skills. He said the special relationship between the armies of the two friendly countries had transformed over time and would grow to unprecedented heights. “Both, China and Pakistan will continue to work towards elimination of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the army chief said.
Read: Pakistan, China military ties to grow to unprecedented heights: army chief
He specially commended troops of Pakistan’s Special Services Group (SSG) for their outstanding performance in Operation Zarb-e-Azb, which is under way in North Waziristan Agency against homegrown militants and their foreign cohorts.
The army chief vowed to continue the operation with the same momentum till achieving the goal of a terror-free Pakistan. Pakistan and China have traditionally enjoyed close cooperation but in recent years, the relations between the two countries have transformed into a strategic partnership.
Read: J-10 fighter jets: Pakistan may be China’s first customer
Earlier this year, the two countries had signed the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, a network of rail and road links that will connect China’s impoverished western regions to the Arabian Sea through Gwadar port. Under the CPEC, Beijing will also help Islamabad to overcome its energy crisis and will set up power plants and other projects. The two countries have termed the CPEC a game changer, which, according to them, will benefit the entire region.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2015.
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