SRINAGAR: Despite objections from Pakistan, the joint training and validation exercise of Indian and British elite soldiers got underway in Ladakh. The joint training and exercises will conclude on October 10. A defence spokesman, Col A K Mathur said the joint training and validation exercise is being conducted on Ladakh ranges at an altitude between 15000 to 19000 ft and got underway.
He said that as per schedule of events, both UK and Indian para-troopers have carried out first stage of acclimatization of 6 days at Leh and moved to North Pullu for second and third stage of acclimatization for four days. “North Pulu, which is located at an altitude of 15,300 feet will also act as a base camp for exercising troops. All the logistics and administrative aspects have been catered for”, he said.
Saying that the exercises are not aimed against any country, the defence spokesman said that these exercises are held to keep the soldiers fit for all types of terrains. Col Mathur said that a total of eight officer and 108 other ranks of UK’s elite Royal Marine commando and a company size force of India’s parachute regiment troops are participating in the joint training and exercises. The aim of joint exercises named, “Himalayan Warrior” is to carry out joint training in super high latitude and rigorous climatic conditions in order to familiarize with each other’s weapons, equipment and tactics. “To use this as an opportunity by sharing and co-learning from each others experience gained in counter terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Afghanistan. And also to give further fillip to military and diplomatic relations of the two countries”, added Col Mathur
It is pertinent to mention there that Pakistan has strongly condemned the joint exercises of UK and Indian elite soldiers in Ladakh in Kashmir .”Pakistan feels that this is illegitimate activity because Jammu and Kashmir is internationally recognised disputed territory and more than anybody else, Britain should be aware of it,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told the weekly press briefing last week.”Pakistan made a demarche both with Britain and India last week and expressed its concern over the exercises plan,” she said.-SANA
Mirwaiz perturbed over Indo-British exercises
SRINAGAR: The chairman of Mirwaiz faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has expressed his concern over the joint military exercises of Indian and British troops in Ladakh saying such exercises should not have been conducted in the disputed region of Kashmir. Addressing a public congregation at Jamia Mosque, Mirwaiz reminded India that occupied Jammu and Kashmir being a “disputed territory” Mirwaiz said, “Joint military exercises carried by Britain and India in Leh are shear violation of United Nations resolutions.”
“Today India is holding a joint exercise tomorrow Pakistan can do the same,” he said. He said that no such exercises can be carried out in disputed territory. “Such exercises can lead to the derailment of ongoing Indo-Pak dialogue,” he warned. Lashing out at New Delhi for sending trekking expedition to Siachen glacier, Mirwaiz said, “By resorting to such tactics India is trying to strengthen its occupation in Jammu and Kashmir.”-SANA