In a historic first, India is likely to participate in a multi-nation military exercise in Pakistan later this year. Backed by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the exercise will be held at an anti-terrorism centre in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reported ThePrint.
India and Pakistan, two Asian neighbours divided by a disputed border, have seen decades of frosty ties since their Independence in 1947, and had faced each on battlefield multiple times. The recent Pulwama blast further worsened the relations between the two nations.
In such a situation, the sending of Indian forces to Pakistan could be seen as a step towards mending the disturbed relations, which was evident from the two countries agreeing to stop cross-border firing along the Line of Control [LoC] last month.
There is no confirmation about India’s participation in Pabbi-Antiterror-2021, the exercise which was announced at the 36th meeting of Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent last week, and the proposal for India’s participation is under the consideration of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), the report said.
It may be noted India had last year withdrawn from Kavkaz 2020, a multilateral military exercise held in Russia, since it did not want to participate alongside Chinese soldiers in view of border tensions with the country. The decision was take in the last minute after a high-level military and diplomatic meeting.
Dates and participating members of the exercise is not yet confirmed. The exercise will be held at National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) Pabbi, near Mangla Cantonment, where specialised pre-induction training is given to Pakistan’s Army personnel selected for its FATA and SWAT regions.