April 26, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — In a first, Pakistan and India will participate in a joint military exercise in August this year
as part of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) multi-nation joint counter-terrorism drill.
The two neighbors have never participated in any military exercise jointly since partition in 1947– their relations remain tangential over Kashmir dispute.
These exercises are part of the SCO Peace Mission 2018. Russia, China, India and Pakistan will take part in the exercise, with the mission’s primary focus being counter-terrorism operations such as preventing terror attacks and dismantling terror networks.
The arch-rivals will conduct this military drill as part of a larger multi-national military exercise in the Ural Mountains of Russia.
The two countries became full SCO members last June. Tuesday saw the conclusion of the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Beijing.
Amid fears that ISIS is active in Afghanistan and moving militants into Central Asia, terrorism was also an important topic of discussion at the meeting.
Although Pakistani and Indian troops have participated together as members of various United Nations peacekeeping missions in the past, this will be the first time militaries of both countries will participate in joint counter-terrorism drills.
These SCO multi-nation military exercises are held once every two years and peace mission 2018 will be the fifth edition.
SCO was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by Tajikistan, Kyrghistan, Russia, China and Kazakhstan. With the inclusion of India, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, SCO now has eight countries as its full members. Additionally, four countries enjoy observer status and six countries are dialogue partners.
Observers include Iran, Afghanistan, and Belarus, while Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, are among the nations holding dialogue partner status.
An SCO summit will be held in June in Qingdao, China.