NEW DELHI: In a first, India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries.
The military exercise will take place under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO, officials said.
They said the military drill will be held in the Ural mountains of Russia and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.
They said the main aim of the exercise, Peace Mission, will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight SCO member countries.
The officials said India's participation at the exercise was confirmed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a meeting of SCO Defence Ministers' meeting in Beijing + last week.
It will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in UN peace keeping missions, they said.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005. Both the countries were admitted as full members of the bloc last year.
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