Pakistan Armys military exercise Azm-e- Nau-3 got off to a booming start on April 10 in Multan/Bahawalpur area. The biggest-ever military field exercise after Zarb-e-Momin (1989) would be carried out on May 13, 2010. It involves 20,000 Jawans and Officers of all arms and services including Special Services Group. New arms and missile system would be used. The ongoing exercise of Pakistan Air Force would also be brought in sync with the Azm-e-Nau field activity. Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiani personally visited exercise forward area where the Garrison Commander gave him a briefing. The Corps Commander Bahawalpur was also present. Later, the Chief of Army Staff watched the exercise from trenches. Meanwhile Pakistan Air Force Chief Rao Qamar Suleman also visited the exercise area. Azme-e-nau 1 and 2 war games were conducted after the Army Chief had declared 2009-10 as the 'Year of Training. Certain areas in Sialkot and Sindh have been earmarked for the exercise. Special measures for protection of life and property in the exercise areas have been undertaken against any possible damage. Population of the area was informed well ahead of the event. To keep itself in operational readiness against enemys possible aggression, Pakistan Army is pursuing a mission oriented biennial training programme based on the prevailing security environment, an ISPR source told the media. The source further said that the exercise is a concept validation stage of the operational thought process manifested in the form of tactical operational and organizational aspects which would be validated and refined through the lessons learnt. India has conducted 12 military exercises in two years. New Delhi has been informed about the event, an act that serves the internationally-accepted procedure as well as a warning that it should keep off the Pakistani soil. -IFTIKHAR BUTT, former senior fellow IPRI, April 13