Pak, China take part in joint air force training exercise

Shanghai : China’s air force on Saturday began joint training exercises with Pakistan, China’s defence ministry said, as the two nations’ militaries continue to strengthen operational ties.

The countries call each other ‘all-weather friends’, with ties underpinned by long-standing wariness of their common neighbour, India, and a desire to hedge against US influence in Asia.

The Chinese defence ministry said the exercise, called ‘Shaheen V’ would run until April 30 which would widen the scope of cooperation and dialogue with all countries and regions, reports Dawn.

China has long urged Pakistan to weed out militants from its far western region of Xinjiang who have holed up in lawless ethnic Pashtun areas on Pakistan’s Afghan border, home to a mix of groups, including the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Pakistan wants to upgrade its air force, now dependent on a mostly outmoded fleet of US, French and Chinese fighter jets that Pakistani officials fear can do little against Indian craft or help target domestic insurgents.(ANI)