Indian Contigent commander leading the march
Indian Contigent commander leading the march

India's SCO anti-terror exercise with Pakistan begins

ANI | Updated: Aug 24, 2018 20:40 IST

New Delhi [India] Aug 24 (ANI): The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Exercise began on Friday, bringing Indian and Pakistani militaries to participate for the first time in a joint exercise under the anti-terror setting.
The six-day SCO Exercise, which has brought the two countries together for the Exercise Peaceful Mission 2018, will continue till August 29 at Chebarkul town in Chelyabinsk Oblast in Russia. The Indian contingent will return on August 30.
The opening ceremony of the peace mission exercise was conducted at the Combined Arms Range at Chebarkul. It started with a speech by Central Military District Commander Col Gen Alexander Lapin, the Exercise Chief, who exhorted the participating troops to execute all tasks allotted to them in a professional manner.
The meet was declared open with the hoisting of national flags of all member nations, accompanied by respective national anthems. Contingent commanders also addressed the gathering followed by an impressive march past.
Col Gen Lapin conducted an operation briefing and issued directives. The exercise include zeroing and firing by tanks, infantry combat vehicle BMPs and small arms, practice jump by airborne troops, etc. The exercise will also see sports competitions with a total of six sports activities planned during the period.
Approximately 3000 troops from the Forces of all eight SCO member states are participating in the exercise. The 200-member strong Indian contingent has 167 Indian Army personnel including four women officers and 33 personnel from the Indian Air Force.
The Pakistan contingent comprises 110 members, while the strength of the Chinese contingent is of 748 personnel.
One the sidelines of this exercise, a meeting of the Expert Working Group (EWG) will also take place in Moscow on August 27. Lt Gen Satish Dua, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) of the Indian Armed Forces will be leading the Indian delegation for the EWG meeting. The prime agenda of the EWG meeting would be to prepare the protocol for the meeting of Chiefs of General Staffs (CGS, and equivalent).
The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, which was initially created in China with five more members namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were given the status of full members of SOC in 2017.
The SCO is aimed at strengthening mutual trust and partnership among the member states, promoting effective cooperation in trade, research, economy, politics, technology, culture, education, energy, tourism among other things. (ANI)

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