Sino-Pak ties not threat to any country: Kayani

Pakistan-China relations were "purely strategic" and not aimed against any country, Pakistan Army chief said.

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 20:07 PM IST

Sino-Pak security cooperation should not be perceived as a threat to any country, a
statement that comes closely after India said the "close military and strategic ties" impacts its security environment.

Pakistan-China relations were "purely strategic" and not aimed against any country, Kayani told a news briefing at the conclusion of the two-week-long YouYi-IV joint military exercise near Jhelum in Punjab province.

The YouYi (Friendship) exercise will strengthen strategic relations between Pakistan and China, Kayani said.

Ties between the Armies of the two countries were not based on aggression against any particular country, he added.

Back in New Delhi, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai in his recent address at the National Defence College had talked of media reports about the developments in Pakistan`s nuclear and missile programmes.

"The close military and strategic ties between China and Pakistan impacts on our security environment," he had said.

However Kayani today said China`s security is "dear to Pakistan" and such joint exercises will strengthen relations between the two countries that are facing the common threat of terrorism.

Pakistan believed China`s role is important for regional stability and it will continue cooperating in efforts to counter the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, Kayani said.

The Army chief said Pakistan had training programmes with around 50 countries around the world.

The YouYi exercise would enhance professional skills and operational preparedness of the Pakistani and Chinese armies and help develop mutual understanding of each other`s skills and procedures, he said.

Kayani noted that the joint exercise was the fourth of a series and "another step towards better military cooperation". He said 260 troops from China and 280 personnel from Pakistan had joined the exercise.

"This interaction was a unique opportunity for the command and staff elements of both the countries to operate as an entity and this experience has further consolidated and enhanced our brotherly relations," he added.

People`s Liberation Army deputy chief Gen Hou Shusen, who was present on the occasion, said such exercises are evidence of joint efforts against terrorism in the region.

Special Forces from both countries practised airborne jumps, lifting of troops by helicopters and assaults on targets during the exercise.

Officials have said the two-week-long exercise is aimed at enhancing the capability of both militaries to tackle terrorism and at sharing of information through a training programme in real time.

The drill included collective training at the unit and brigade-level for low-intensity conflict operations.

PTI