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Russia Denies India’s Request for Cancellation of Joint Military Exercise with Pakistan

Pakistan and Russia

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India has always been trying to isolate Pakistan at all fronts, but the Indian government has taken their efforts to the next level following the recent attacks on Indian army base in Uri Sector. India instantly put the blame on Pakistan and requested Russia to cancel joint military drills with Pakistan Army; the drills were announced to be held in Pakistan from September 24 to October 7, the tactical exercise was named Druzhba-2016. Both Russia and Pakistan had confirmed the tactical exercise to take place in Cherat and Ruttu, Pakistan.

Indian External Affair Minister wrote a letter to the Russian government, imploring them to cancel the tactical drills soon after the attack took place on the 18th of September, 2016. There were false news circulating the internet telling that Moscow has cancelled the joint military drills showing solidarity with Indian Armed Forces as requested by the Indian government. Russia has strongly condemned the attack on Uri Sector saying that,

We strongly condemn the terrorist attack on an Army base in Uri in the early hours of September 18, which killed 19 and injured 30 service personnel. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a rapid recovery to all those injured. We are also concerned about the fact that, according to New Delhi, the Army base near Uri was attacked from Pakistani territory.

Not just Russia, but the whole world condemns the extremist attack. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued an official statement saying,

The Government of Japan strongly condemns the terrorist attack on the Indian base in Uri and extends its sincere condolences to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families, and expresses its heartfelt sympathy to those who were injured. Japan expresses its solidarity with India in the fight against terrorism.

Meanwhile, France has also reprehended the attack in a statement which states:

After that of Pathankot earlier this year, this attack reminds us that India, like France, is a victim of terrorism. More than ever before, we remain at the side of our strategic partner, India, for fighting this scourge.

However, there were no assurances of the cancellation of military drills with Pakistan. Instead, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Russia has confirmed that the drills will take place as per the schedule. Qazi Khalilullah said,

Reports of cancellation of exercise are incorrect. The joint military exercise will be held as per scheduled, from 24 September.

Russian Foreign Ministry’s concerned Asian Department also explained everything in their statement which says,

We were informed by [Russia’s] defense ministry that these exercises will not be carried out in disputed areas, and a place was chosen that has nothing to do with this. Hence there is no reason for India to worry.

Indian efforts to isolate Pakistan suffered a huge setback with this statement. The news about the cancellation were mostly published by Indian news agencies, however, their own news agencies were giving contradictory statements. The Press Trust of India clearly mentioned that Russia has denied India’ plea to cancel the drills as quoted by a senior Russian Diplomat.