India and Pakistan’s participation in SCO joint exercise attracts attention

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BEIJING, July 20 (APP):A large-scale anti-terrorism military exercise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), codenamed “Peace Mission”, will be held in Russia next month, with all SCO member states planning to take part in it.
It is noteworthy that India and Pakistan, who newly joined the organization, will both send troops to join the exercise.
This is the first time the two countries have taken part in joint military exercise at the same time since their independence, which attracted much attention, according to an article published by China Military Online here.
The exercise is initiated by the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (RATS SCO) with the goal of responding to terrorism and extremism by expanding cooperation among member states
At present, India and Pakistan have clearly expressed their intention to send troops to take part in the exercise. According to Indian official sources, India will send about 200 Army and Air Force personnel to participate in this exercise.
India and Pakistan have been hostile to each other for many years. In the past decade, crossfire incidents occurred almost every week along Kashmir’s Line of Control. Therefore, as India and Pakistan’s first joint military exercise after their independence, this exercise will be of certain significance to the alleviation of the tension on the India-Pakistan border.
Some military observers pointed out that conflicts have been commonplace between India and Pakistan for a long time. Numerous exchange mechanisms between the two countries have been interrupted due to border clashes. The SCO military exercise can promote positive interactions between the two militaries and help to ease tension between the two countries.
Although this is the first time that India and Pakistan have taken part in a joint military exercise since their independence, in fact, the militaries of the two countries have cooperated many times in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions.
According to data from the database of UN peacekeeping operations, India and Pakistan have been important troop contributors to UN missions, and in the past few decades, the two countries have completed 28 missions together.
In 2005, India and Pakistan were taken in as observer states of the SCO. The year of 2017 witnessed the two countries’ inclusion as full members of the SCO, which marked the organization’s first expansion.