In an apparent snub to India, Russia has sent it troops to Pakistan to participate in its first-ever joint military exercise with the country. The information about the Pakistan-Russia joint military exercise was shared on Twitter by Lt General Asim Bajwa, director general, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan. “A contingent of Russian ground forces arrived Pak for 1st ever Pak- Russian joint exercise (2 weeks) from 24 Sep to 10 Oct 2016,” Bajwa tweeted today.
Earlier, CNN-New18 TV had reported on Monday that the joint military exercise was called off by Russia following the Uri attack by Pakistani terrorists. The channel had also shared the news on Twitter, saying, “Russia calls off joint military drills with Pakistan.”
#BREAKING | Russia calls off joint military drills with Pakistan
— News18 (@CNNnews18) September 19, 2016
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had also reportedly urged Russia to reconsider its decision to hold joint military drills with Pakistan. The joint military exercise ‘Druzhba 2016’ will be conducted between September 24 to October 10, according to Bajwa.
A contingent of Russian ground forces arrived Pak for 1st ever Pak- Russian joint exercise (2 weeks) from 24 Sep to 10 Oct 2016 pic.twitter.com/eWzQMlENL6
— Gen Asim Bajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) September 23, 2016
Following the Uri attack, in which 18 Indian soldiers lost their lives, India embarked on a policy to diplomatically isolate Pakistan in the international community for sponsoring terrorism. The strategy received an impetus after it was reported that Russia has called off the joint military exercise with Pakistan.
Earlier, Russia was the only country which had mentioned Pakistan in its message of solidarity with India after the Uri attack. While India had conveyed to the world that the attack was carried out by terrorists from Pakistan, countries had refrained from mentioning the name of the country in their messages to India.
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 20, 2016
However, condemning the attack, Russia had said, “…In view of the attack in the Indian air base at Pathankot in January this year, we note with concern the resurgence of terrorist attacks near Line of control. It is alarming, and according to New Delhi, the attack on military unit near the town of Uri was committed from the territory of Pakistan.” The message was shared on Twitter by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
Russia is also participating in a joint military exercise ‘Indra 2016’ with India. A contingent of the Indian Army reached ARTEM International Airport, Vladivostok to participate in the Indo-Russia Joint Military Exercise ‘Indra2016′, Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) – Indian Army shared this on Facebook on Thursday. The ADGPI said, “Eighth in the series, the joint training will be conducted at Sergiveskey of the Russian Federation from 22 September to 02 October 2016. The 11-day exercise will focus on Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in Semi Mountainous and Jungle Terrain under the United Nations Mandate.”