The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is going to organise an anti-terror drill in the month of August in Russia. The drill will help member countries to deal with terrorism and extremism in a cooperative way.
Apart from militaries of India and Pakistan, the exercise will be joined by all SCO member countries including Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
According to the officials, around 200 Army and Air Force personnel from India will be part of the exercise which is scheduled from August 20-29 at Chelyabinsk city in west-central Russia.
“The main aim of the drill is to boost the cooperation among the SCO countries to deal with terrorism and extremism challenges,” said a military official
After Independence, India and Pakistan both will be seen together for the first time participating in the military exercise, though the armies of the two countries have worked together in UN peacekeeping missions, he said.
In the year 2005, India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping and they were admitted as full members of the bloc last year.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO and has emerged as one of the largest trans-regional international organisations which accounts for almost 44 per cent of the world population stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. The SCO’s objective is to maintain stability, peace and security of the region.
However, Russia had strongly pushed India’s membership while China backed Pakistan for entering in the group.
India feels that being a SCO member, it will be able to play a major role in addressing the threat of terrorism in the region. India is also interested on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals in defence and security issues.