Karachi, 29 December 2022 (TDI): A joint exercise between Pakistan and Turkish special forces that took place in the capital of Sindh for a week came to an end.

According to a statement released by the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Turkiye, the weeklong joint exercise took place in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi.

Underwater attack (SAT) teams from the Turkish Naval Forces and Iqbal Teams from the Pakistan Navy participated in the drills known as Crescent and Star-2022.

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The two sides participated in exercises designed to improve communication between the two nations’ navies and foster military cooperation.

Previous Military exercises

Islamabad and Ankara are conducting combat drills as relations between the two countries have reached unprecedented heights in recent years. Improved relations are the result of increased cooperation in the defense industry.

Last year in September, the two countries held their first-ever joint exercises with the Azerbaijani military in Baku.

Additionally, Pakistan’s navy secured a contract with Turkish state-owned defense contractor ASFAT, a government-owned defense contractor company in July 2018.

It was for the purchase of four Turkish-made Milli Gemi (MILGEM) corvettes. Two corvettes will be built in Turkey, followed by two in Pakistan, according to the plan. The agreement also includes technological transfer between the two countries.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then-Pakistan Navy Chief Zafar Mahmood Abbasi cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul in October 2019.

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid a formal visit to Turkiye in November 2022. He and Turkish President Erdogan unveiled PNS Khyber, the third of four MILGEM corvettes for the Pakistan Navy.

Pakistan-Turkiye bilateral engagements

Ankara and Islamabad have a well-established relationship spanning decades. On top of the nation’s political and economic interactions, many Turkish humanitarian agencies are active in the country.

Among them is the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) which is providing assistance to those in need.

During Erdoğan’s visit to Pakistan in February 2020, the two countries signed a series of memorandums of understanding (MoU) aimed at boosting bilateral trade, economic engagement, communication, and cultural ties.

It is pertinent to note that the trade volume between Pakistan and Türkiye has risen from around $600 million to $800 million over the last five years.