Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )
For the first time, arch-rivals India and Pakistan are taking part in a mega anti-terror drill of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Russia aimed at expanding cooperation among the member countries to deal with terrorism and extremism.
The exercise 'Peace Mission-2018', in which soldiers from China, Russia and other SCO countries are also participating, kicked off in Russia on Friday.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO
Defence Specialist RSN Singh agree that India and Pakistan have bilateral hostility but he said "India is a member of SCO too and we can't be selective" he also added that we can't leave the field open to Pakistan by not participating in this exercise.
On contrary Lt Gen (Retd) B S Jaswal said the participation of India with Pakistan army is not right, India's stand on Pakistan is clear he also clarify that UN peacekeeping mission is different according to him.
Ex #SCO2018. Indian Contingent Armr & Mech Component took part in firing involving all #SCOcontingents at Chebarkul. Meanwhile Lt Gen Satish Dua, CISC arrived at Russia for final days of Ex Was recd by Maj Gen Sergie Medvedskiy @SpokespersonMoD @IAF_MCC @adgpi @IndEmbMoscow pic.twitter.com/ax9UStsker— HQ IDS (@HQ_IDS_India) August 27, 2018
Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak also see no wrong of India participation in SCO drill with Pakistan, he said "countries fighting on LOC but cooperating in international setting is par for the course and there is no wrong in this, armies of the two nation have worked together in UN peacekeeping mission earlier also"
Former Major general Ashok Mehta said it's good exercise, this type of drill should happen more.
India is participating in the drill for the first time since becoming a full member of the SCO in June 2017.
As part of the SCO initiatives, the SCO Peace Mission Exercise is conducted biennially for the SCO member states.
The joint exercise is being conducted by the Central Military Commission of Russia from August 22 to August 29 at Chebarkul, Russia.