Pakistan celebrates 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Russian Federation

Indian and Pakistani combat troops, who are locked in a volatile confrontation with daily firing duels along the Line of Control in J&K, will for the first time exercise together as part of a multi-nation counter-terror war game under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Russian Federation in August.

Reports quoted officials as citing Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as confirming India's presence in the anti-terrorism exercises during the SCO defence ministers' meeting in Beijing last week. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was constituted in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. In 2016, India and Pakistan were admitted as full members.

The two countries have been SCO observers since 2005. With expansion of the grouping, SCO now represents over 40 per cent of humanity and almost 20 per cent of the global GDP.

Since the Dokhlam Standoff, tensions between China and India have been prevailing but with this drill, India-China will also resume their bilateral military exercise.

The fact that the U.S. has recently cracked down on Pakistan on its funding to terror groups has made no difference to these countries, and while it would be naive to think that the joint military exercises will change their thinking overnight, they can help ease nerves about India and Pakistan. The drill will take place in Russia's rural mountains. For India being the part of the SCO, India will play a major role in addressing the threat of terrorism and it will also be an opportunity for the country to deepen security cooperation with SCO nations and Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).

PM Modi's two-day informal summit in China, where both the leaders encouraged their militaries to "enhance predictability" and "effectiveness" in managing border affairs.

The Pakistan Foreign Office, in a statement on Tuesday, paying tribute to the seven decades of relations between the two countries, said the Pakistan-Russia friendship is fast evolving into a mature partnership, Geo TV reported.

  • Joey Payne