ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will attend the international counter-terrorism exercises in India in October this year under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (SCO RATS).
New Delhi has been officially intimated about Pakistan’s participation in the exercises. This is the first time that Pakistan will be attending such drills in India. The exercises would be held in Mahesar in October and Pakistan will participate as a member of SCO RATS, say media reports.
Pakistan and India are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that also includes Russia, China, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The two countries’ militaries have also participated in the counter-terror exercises in the past.
In a recent press briefing, spokesperson for the Foreign Office of Pakistan Asim Iftikhar had confirmed that Pakistan will attend the exercises chaired by India under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure.
Relations between Pakistan and India have been seeing ups and downs in different eras but they went to an all-time low after the Pathankot and Pulwama incidents and August 5, 2019 action of the Indian government that revoked the special status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).
According to media reports, even the backchannel talks have also reached a dead-end with both sides stuck to their positions. Pakistan maintains that since the restoration of the special status of IIOJ&K no progress in relationships was possible whereas India has shown interest in resumption of relationships, especially trade.