India, China to hold army exercise from Nov 16 in Pune

India and China will hold a joint "Hand-in-Hand" army exercise from November 16 in Pune that will focus on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism tactics, weeks after a stand-off between their troops along the border in Ladakh region.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014, 23:27 PM IST

New Delhi: India and China will hold a joint "Hand-in-Hand" army exercise from November 16 in Pune that will focus on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism tactics, weeks after a stand-off between their troops along the border in Ladakh region.

"Hand-in-Hand" is an exercise aimed at exploring useful experiences, advancing pragmatic cooperation and promoting a friendly environment between the two armies.

The first such annual exercise was held at Kunming in China in December 2007 while the second was held at Belgaum in December 2008.

However, there was a gap of five years till an exercise was held in China's Chengdu area last year in which a group of 160 personnel from Indian Army's 16 Sikh Light Infantry had participated.

The aim of the joint training is to share the drills and practices learnt while tackling insurgency and terrorism, thereby promoting healthy military-to-military relations between the two armies and developing joint strategies of conducting operations in a counter-terrorism environment, an army statement here said.

Forming part of the different levels of the military-to- military engagement across the entire spectrum of operations, this exercise will enrich the two contingents in further honing basic military skills.

The exercise is planned at the company level with respective battalion headquarters controlling the training.

The training and manoeuvres, to be conducted at Aundh Military Cantonment, College of Military Engineering and firing ranges at Dighi, Pune are to be supervised by a Joint Directing Panel comprising senior officials of both the nations.

Helicopters of Indian Air Force will also be taking active part in the various manoeuvres planned in the exercise. Senior military observers of both the countries will be attending the opening xeremony scheduled to be held at Aundh Military Station on November 17.