Days after Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa has advocated for peace with India and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said that India would have to take the first step to normalize relations with its eastern neighbor, India is demonstrating yet another gesture to show its resolve for peace. While Pakistan is only using mere words, India is setting an example with actions - much-needed to end decades-long disputes between the two countries.
Ahead of officials from India and Pakistan are set to meet in Delhi to discuss Indus water sharing issue among other concerns, India could be a part of anti-terrorism exercise taking place in Pakistan later this year. This will be the first time Indian forces will travel to Pakistan for any military exercise at the anti-terrorism centre in Pabbi in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This exercise is being held under the umbrella of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The decision to hold Pabbi-Antiterror-2021 joint military exercise was announced at the 36th meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on March 18.
"Decisions have been made to improve cooperation between the competent authorities of the SCO member states in identifying and suppressing channels that finance terrorist activities," China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported, quoting a RATS statement.
Delegations of the competent authorities of India, Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the RATS Executive Committee reportedly attended the meeting, where the draft program for cooperation for 2022-2024 to counter terrorism, separatism and extremism.
In a separate report, citing anonymous sources, the Print reported that the final decision on India's participation in the Pabbi-antiterror-2021 is yet to be taken and that the proposal is under consideration of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS).
India and Pakistan became the full members of the eight-member bloc in 2017, but India had backed out of the SCO exercise in 2020, which was to be held in southern Russia in September last year due to the border standoff against the PLA at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The last time India and Pakistan troops came together for SCO exercise was in 2018, but it was held in Russia.