Islamabad, Nov.18 : Pakistan has denied that it perceives the planned first joint exercise of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with its Chinese counterpart as threatening or a matter of concern in any way.
Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major had talked about the region's two largest air forces' coming together during his recent Beijing visit. He had stated that though there was no schedule as yet, it would take place "sooner than later". December will also see the Chinese army coming for joint army exercises in Karnataka's Belgaum district.
"This is essentially a matter between China and India. Pakistan has also been conducting such exercises, and we continue to have very close cooperation. The joint Indian-Chinese air exercises are not a matter of concern for us," Pakistan Air Force spokesperson was quoted as saying by The News.
Meanwhile, others like analyst Lt. General (R) Talat Masood told The News that these future air exercises were also sending a strong message to the United States. "The message being conveyed is that both these countries are independent states and have the confidence to display it in a practical manner, and that their air power is not against each other," Masood said. Masood believes that Pakistan should adopt a very pragmatic and realistic approach as these two regional forces wanted to cooperate in a manner where there could be peace and stability in the region, which in turn would see economic gains for their people.
"Pakistan should learn certain lessons from this; this is not a zero sum game, and we should maximize our strategic relations with different countries as well," Masood stated.
In the face of changing global realities, some time back, it was the US army chief, who had visited Siachen to see for itself the world's highest battle ground. Pakistan had then protested on the pretext that it was a disputed area and warned that it would cast a shadow on the ongoing composite dialogue between Islamabad and New Delhi.