Reflecting a significant leap in their military cooperation, special forces of India and Afghanistan are carrying out joint counter-terrorism exercises and training here in the first such drill between the two countries. "Destruction of terrorists holed up in buildings, unarmed combat, use of specialised equipment, slithering and heliborne operations are among other special operations being practiced jointly by the troops of the two armies," an Army official said here. The counter insurgency training and exercises are being held in the elite 10 Para (Special Forces) unit and reviewed by Southern Army Commander Lt Gen Ashok Singh, officials said. The aim of the joint training is to promote military to military relationship between the two countries through enhancement of interoperability, jointness and mutual exchange of special operations techniques, they said. "57 personnel of the Afghan Army are participating in the joint training.
The exercise, besides benefiting the troops in learning from each other's experience, further strengthened the existing friendly bond between the two countries," defence spokesperson Colonel S D Goswami said. Focus of the training, scheduled to culminate on December 29, is on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations, with special emphasis on operations in 'Built up Areas and Rural Areas' in a realistic functional environment. Unarmed combat, living off the land, para jumping, combat shooting are being practiced during the exercise which began on December 11. The exercise comes at a time when the US is withdrawing its troops from the Af-Pak region and the Hamid Karzai government in Kabul is seeking closer military ties with India and has asked for huge military aid including supply of choppers and combat vehicles in aid.