India, Pakistan to take part in war games 

125

New Delhi: In a first, arch rivals India and Pakistan will be part of a multi-nation counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries.

The military exercise will take place under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a China-dominated security grouping which is increasingly seen as a counterweight to NATO.

Officials said the military drill would be held in the Ural mountains of Russia, and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.

They said the main aim of the exercise, Peace Mission, will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight member countries.

The officials said India’s participation in the exercise was confirmed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during an SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting in Beijing last week.

It will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in U.N. peacekeeping missions, they said.