Pakistan Begins Largest Military Exercises in Years
Pakistan kicked off a month of military exercises. According to military officials, the round of military exercises will be the country’s largest since 1989, when the Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan. Field exercises, which will run through May, are expected to include more than 50,000 troops from the various branches of the armed services. Such exercises will take place along Pakistan’s eastern border, near India.
While military exercises are routinely preformed every year and are often meant to display military might on an international scene, analysts argue that Pakistan’s current showing is meant mainly to impress on the domestic scene. Due to the heightened number of participants and the well-documented struggles Pakistan has faced over the past few years, analysts believe the timing of the exercises is related to “the military’s confidence and sense of accomplishment.” According to a military analyst stationed in Lahore, the military is feeling confident on its recent successes in combating the Taliban and wants to do some public relations work. The exercises are aimed to remind the Pakistani people that the government is still focused on its eastern border (most fighting has taken place along Pakistan’s western border, near Afghanistan).
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