Pakistan to host third International PACES competition 2021

Picture Source- AFP
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Squads of 11 states along with the top five teams of 9th Army PACES Championship 2021 will showcase their physical and combat efficiency strength in the International PACES competition 2021.

Great nations are always built on their strengths, which they create while facing tough scenarios. Physical war is not the only tough thing to deal with, but if you are not mentally fit, you cannot fight physically. Hundreds of UN peace projects are evidence that Pakistani squads are one of the best squads who perform meticulously in the toughest scenarios and achieve all sorts of uphill tasks.

This has only been possible due to the tough and challenging exercises which every soldier has to undergo during his training and whole service.

Of the many programmes, Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System (PACES) is one such concept that enables a soldier to rely on his physical fitness and strength to hit a certain target.

To fulfill this effort, intra-army PACES competitions are being held since 2011 additionally, the institution is also holding international PACES competitions since 2016.

In this context, the third International PACES Competition, organized by Pakistan Army will be held from 1st to 7th of November 2021 at Ayub Stadium Lahore. Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa will grace the occasion with his presence in the opening ceremony.

Squads of 11 states along with the top five teams of 9th Army PACES Championship 2021 will showcase their physical and combat efficiency strength in the event. Four regimental teams of the Pakistan army will also participate in the competition.

Out of the 11 international squads, teams of Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates will participate in different events of the competition whereas Egypt, America, Myanmar, and Indonesia will be part of PACES as observers.

First International PACES Competition was held between 18th to 24th of October, 2016, in Lahore in which teams of 17 countries and nine squads of the Pakistan army participated. Overshadowing its opponents, the team of Pakistan Army Services Corps Center secured the first position whereas Chinese and Sri Lanka’s squads managed to occupy second and third positions in the event respectively.

The second International PACES competition was organized between the 8th to 14th of October, 2018, which was graced by 23 international teams and 16 domestic squads. Among the international squads, the team of the Peoples Republic of China and Sri Lanka remained on top positions, and Pak Army’s Engineering Centre, Army Supply Corps Centre, and Artillery Centre teams remained on top among the domestic teams.

PACES is the brainchild of the former chief of army staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parwaiz Kiani. The concept was concretized in 2011 under his patronage by establishing PACES cell, whose target was to create and organize such training and events through which the physical fitness and strength of our soldiers may be ensured and enhanced. Army-level PACES competitions are being regularly held to train and test the physical strength of our soldiers since 2011. In order to introduce the PACES concept to the international counterparts, the Pakistan army has so far organized two international PACES competitions in the last five years.

PACES consist of pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, and 2.5 km runs in which soldiers showcase their pure physical fitness and stamina. The strength and stamina, required to outshine the opponents, speak for the physical fitness of the soldiers. It also prepares them for the challenging situations where they have to totally rely on their physical fitness and endurance. Soldier Mohammad Rizwan of 4 Core, with 2294 sit-ups, Sapper Shaukat Ali of Engineering Center, with 1859 push-ups, and Naik Mohammad Bilal of Artillery Center, with 351 pull-ups set up new records in the second international PACES competition 2018.

Combat Efficiency Test is the combination of physical fitness, mental strength, and armed skills. Each participant has to perform as a lonely combatant, fighting with little resources, running and crossing multiple hurdles, completing various sub-tasks, and achieving desired results in the shortest possible time. In the second International PACES Competition in 2018, Signaler Abdul Ghafoor surprised the spectators by completing the Combat Efficiency Test in a record time of just 46.72 seconds.

Pakistan army is known for its dynamic professionalism, heroic resilience, charismatic combating capabilities, and miraculous endurance against unfavorable conditions. Whether it’s the case of rescuing humanity from natural calamities or combating the enemy, our soldiers have always proven themselves to be one of the most skilled and devoted saviors for the nation and the international community. Such undaunted courage and splendor has only been possible due to the hard physical, mental and psychological training, which each and every soldier has to go through in his career.

The concept of PACES pinpoints the importance of physical strength in the scientific age of the 21st century. It highlights the pivotal role of physical fitness and stamina in the training process of a soldier. Such events would surely egg on the young soldiers to improve their physical fitness, and the demonstration of the strength and power of participants would be a great source of inspiration and aspiration for the Pakistani youth.

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