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Pakistan-Turkey joint military drill concludes

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A three-week joint military exercise involving Turkish and Pakistani special forces ended on Saturday.

The closing ceremony of the drill ATATURK-XI 2021 was held at the Pakistani military’s Special Service headquarters in Tarbela, northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkwa province, which borders neighbouring Afghanistan, said a statement from the Pakistan Army.

The Pakistan Army’s Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt-Gen Syed Muhammad Adnan and a high-level military delegation from Turkey headed by Maj-Gen Emre Tayanc attended the closing ceremony.

Turkish Special Forces and troops of the Pakistani military’s elite Special Services Group participated in the drill.

The exercise focused on counter-terrorism, close quarter battle, cordon and search, rappelling, fire and move techniques, helicopter rappelling, compound clearance, hostage and rescue, and free-fall operations.

Ankara and Islamabad have increased defence and military cooperation in recent years.

In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract with Turkish state-owned defence contractor ASFAT for the acquisition of four Turkish-built MILGEM corvettes. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the next two will be built in Pakistan, which also involves technology transfer.

In October 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with then Pakistan Navy Chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi had cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.

Turkey is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships using its national capabilities.