Islamabad, Sep 6 (IANS) The Pakistani and Turkish armies have launched the Ataturk-5 joint exercise in a remote area of this country to mark a new phase in their bilateral defence relationship, it was reported Wednesday.
The exercise is named after Mustapha Kamal Ataturk, the Turkish national hero who is greatly admired by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, The Nation newspaper said.
Many analysts think Musharraf also favours Ataturk's concept of the army playing a dominant role in a nation's affairs, stepping in whenever there is a crisis.
The 10-day long exercises are aimed at sharing experiences in planning, preparation and conduct of special operations and mountain warfare.
Similar exercises have been in previous years in Pakistan and Turkey as well. The current one is the ninth between the two armies.
Pakistan has close defence ties with Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). While Pakistan supports Turkey in its territorial dispute with Cyprus, Turkey has been generally supportive of Pakistan's case on the Kashmir issue, especially at the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) conclaves.