Indian and Pakistani military personnel are participating in a joint anti-terrorism exercise organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Russia. The exercise aims to enhance cooperation between member states to counter the growing threat of terrorism and extremism.
The exercise will carry out a tactical level operation in an international counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism environment. Upto 3,000 soldiers from India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan have been reported taking part in the exercise.
The Indian contingent comprise of 200 personnel which are mainly from the infantry. The rest comprise other arms and part of the Indian Air Force.
The training schedule for the Indian contingent includes target practice, house intervention drills, tactical and heliborne operations and combat conditioning, reports said. The joint drills will build mutual confidence, inter-operability and sharing of knowledge among troops of SCO members.
In earlier editions, only Central Asian nations participated. After India and Pakistan joined the exercise, the counter-terrorism of the cooperation has expanded to South Asia, a region in a grip of terrorism and extremism.
Earlier, The U.S administration under President Donald Trump started cutting Pakistani officers from training and educational programmes, U.S officials revealed to Reuters news agency. The programmes had been an important facet of bilateral military relations for over a decade.
The move is said to have emanated from Trump’s decision for suspension of U.S. security assistance to Pakistan, in a bid for the latter to track down Islamic terrorists.
Both Pentagon and the Pakistani military did not place any direct comments. Officials from both sides privately denounced the move.
On condition of anonymity, U.S officials expressed worries over the decision hacking key trust building measures while Pakistani officials gave a warning that it could push the military to look for leadership training in China or Russia.