by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 14th Nov 13
On Wednesday, 13th Nov, the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) completed a weeklong joint training exercise, termed Hand-in-Hand. Some 160 Indian soldiers of the Sikh Light Infantry travelled to Kunming province in southern China for the exercise, which has been held twice earlier, in Kunming in 2007, and in Belgaum in 2008.
The exercise saw Indian and Chinese troops living together, sharing dormitories and dining tables. According to the officers who participated, the process of training and operating together practically eliminated the language barrier, with a high degree of camaraderie being generated between soldiers from both countries.
After several days of endurance training, obstacle crossing and tactical drills together, a joint unit containing Indian and Chinese soldiers raided a simulated terrorist group. The 100 highly trained terrorists were depicted as taking refuge on the Sino-Indian border, waiting for an opportunity to strike. But the PLA-Indian Army joint force, operating under joint command, planned an executed an attack in which they approached, cordoned off, and destroyed the terrorist camp with live fire.
The senior Chinese and Indian commandes, Lieutenant General Zhou Xiaozhou and Lieutenant General Anil Kumar Ahuja, terminated the successful exercise by highlighting the mutual understanding and bonds that had been forged by operating together. It was announced that the next Hand-in-Hand exercise would be held in India.