India frets over Pakistan Armys desert exercise

NEW DELHI - With the Indian Army perfecting a short but power-filled warfare doctrine intended against its western neighbour, Pakistan too is war-gaming a counter-strategy in an exercise on for a fortnight now, a few kilometres from its borders with Indias Rajasthan state. The Pakistan Armys Karachi-based V Corps launched the exercise a fortnight ago in the desert terrain of Thar, senior Indian intelligence sources told IANS news agency. The wargame, described by the Pakistan Army as a collective summer training exercise, will be completed within the next fortnight and is primarily focussed on testing its man and machinery in both defensive and offensive warfare manoeuvres. The corps infantry, mechanised infantry and armoured units, along with other battle assets such as their artillery units, were pushed to the limits in searing heat in the Thar desert during the field exercise. Corps Commander Lt-Gen Mohammed Zahir-ul-Islam too witnessed the manoeuvres of his troops last week. The Pakistan Army has conducted a couple of major exercises in the last four years to train its troops to counter an Indian strategy, loosely termed as 'Cold Start doctrine by Indian military think tanks and the media. Though the Indian Army chief Gen VK Singh has stated that there was no such strategy called 'Cold Start, Indian armed forces have over the last seven years since 2004 held over 10 major military exercises in the Rajasthan desert and the Punjab plains. The Pakistan Armys V Corps has among its formations a mechanised division with battle tanks and armoured personnel carriers, two infantry divisions, and an independent artillery brigade. Raised in 1975, the corps, known as the Victory Corps, would be Pakistans first line of defence, as it is spread over the Sindh and southern Punjab, along its eastern borders.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt