• PAF s' Multimediahttp://paffalcons.com/multimedia/inde...Pakistani and Chinese soldiers take part in exercises as part of a joint anti-terrorism drill that started over the weekend in Qingtongxia of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. When Pakistani Special Forces member Zafar Niazi took part in an anti-terror drill jointly conducted by China and his country during the weekend, he thought it was going to be easy. The major had been involved in anti-terrorism activities for more than two years before the latest exercise. But he never imagined he would see so many crack shots this time in Northwest China, a remote area that has not experienced battle in decades. "I have never seen such excellent and efficient shooting. It was second to none in the world," said the 36-year-old commander of the 113-strong Pakistani group sent for the "Friendship-2010" drill. China and Pakistan started the drill on Saturday at a training base of the Lanzhou Military Command, which guards the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The weeklong exercise coincides with the one-year anniversary of the July 5 riots in Xinjiang, which left at least 197 people dead and more than 1,700 injured. An increasing number of members of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which led the riots and is labeled a terrorist group by the UN Security Council, are reportedly fleeing to Pakistan and settling down there for future plots. According to latest reports, the ETIM has been in close collaboration with the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. An ETIM leader is also reportedly hiding in Pakistan and there are reports of a "Chinese battalion" made up of about 320 ETIM members in the Taliban forces. "It is not hard for them (ETIM members) to hide in Pakistan. They have similar religious beliefs, appearances and languages as the locals," the Beijing-based World News newspaper reported on July 1. "Owning to the prevailing environments in our region, there is a need to enhance our cooperation," Lieutenant General Khalid Shameem Wynne, chief of the general staff of the Pakistani army, told soldiers at the opening ceremony of the drill. The joint exercise is crucial for upgrading troops' capabilities in fighting terrorism together and safeguarding regional peace and security, Lt Gen Wang Guosheng, commander of Lanzhou Military Command, said at the opening ceremony. "Our task this time is to conduct anti-terror joint drills in the mountainous border area," Senior Colonel Li Fuhua, director-general of the guiding committee of the Chinese side for the joint drill, said on the sidelines of the exercise. This is not the first time for the two neighboring countries to hold such drills. The first one, "Friendship-2004," was held in a county in Xinjiang that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. A subsequent "Friendship-2006" drill was held in the hills of northern Pakistan. The Lanzhou Military Command has sent its top Special Force troops for the latest drill. The main part of the group, code-named "sky wolf", is famous for carrying out high-risk missions. Their Pakistani counterparts are also elites picked from the battlefield. The troops will jointly complete highly intense tasks this week, covering areas from bomb threats to VIP security. "The Pakistani troops are extremely experienced. Most of them have battlefield experience of more than seven years," said a Chinese officer on the training site who declined to be named for security reasons. The Pakistani troops' knowledge of regional terrorist groups is also important for China, he said. The Chinese and Pakistani armed forces have conducted frequent exchanges since May. Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie visited Pakistan in late May, while Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited Beijing in early June. "Of course the joint drill helps deter terrorists," said Li Wei, a Beijing-based anti-terrorism researcher. "But it is only a start. The two countries have a very long way to go in eliminating the terrorist forces." [Courtesy: CCTV News Channel]