Russia to host SCO military drill with first-ever military collaboration between India and Pakistan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) military exercises are scheduled to be held from August 22 to 29 at Chebarkul training ground in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The theme of the drill is “Preparation and Cooperation on Counter-terrorism among SCO Member States’ Militaries”.

The SCO military drill in Russia will see triple the number of Chinese troops in comparison to that of India. While India has selected a little over 200 troops for the drill, China’s People’s Liberation Army will send 743 officers and men to participate, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

“The main subjects include field reconnaissance, joint fire strike, counter-terrorism operations in residential settlements. The PLA will send 743 officers and men to participate,” Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense said on July 26.

The exercise named “Peace Mission 2018” will see the participation of over 3,000 troops from India, Pakistan, Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. It is also the first-ever military collaboration between India and Pakistan.

“This is a routine military drill within the framework of the SCO which has been playing a positive role in deepening defense and security cooperation among member-states, enhancing capacity in tackling new threats and challenges and also safeguarding regional peace and stability,” Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang added.

With over 70 percent of India’s military assets being of Russian origin, the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force will not be sending any of their military assets, as the soldiers will use Russian equipment.

India and Pakistan were admitted as observers to the SCO in 2005 and they were admitted as full members to the group last year.

Sergey Kwan

TCA