India Abroad

For The First Time, India And Pakistan To Participate In Multi-Nation Military Drill

| April 29 , 2018 , 15:07 IST

For the first time since Independence, India and Pakistan will be participating in a multi-nation counter-terror military exercise in September under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, media said on Sunday.

According to officials, the exercise 'Peace Mission' is being conducted with a goal to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight SCO member countries, namely Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. The military drill will be held in Russia's Ural mountains.

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Officials quoted by PTI said that India's participation in the exercise was confirmed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a meeting of SCO Defence Ministers in Beijing last week.

Although India and Pakistan have worked together in UN peace keeping missions, the 'Peace Mission' will be the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was founded during a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as an alternative to NATO.

India and Pakistan were admitted as observers to the SCO in 2005 and became full members last year. While India's membership had the backing of Russia, China pushed for the entry of Pakistan. Despite only having 8 member nations, the SCO represents over 40 percent of humanity and nearly 20 percent of global GDP.