SCO Military Drills | Editorial

Pakistan’s hosting of anti-terror military drills of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) later this year is a big achievement. That Islamabad has been honoured to host the anti-terror exercises is a sign of the faith of regional actors in Pakistan’s capabilities to defeat anti-state actors.

Some of the most powerful nations including China and Russia will join Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in these exercises. Hopefully, the forces will learn a great deal from each other in this exchange of fighting tactics.

SCO, established in 2001, primarily focused on fighting against three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism through cooperation. And Pakistani forces have shown to the world that they have defeated the three evil forces in a far better way than any other state could have.

However, despite the recent reports of the thaw between Islamabad and New Delhi, it is not clear if the latter would receive an invitation. This is down to caution due to New Delhi’s refusal to join military drills held in Russia last year due to its strained ties with China. Moreover, Pakistan’s reluctance to allow Indian forces to participate in these exercises is also understandable considering the rivalry and consistent antagonism from New Delhi.

What goes without saying is that these exercises will offer an opportunity for all participating countries to work closely for regional peace and stability. Furthermore, the drills will open up other avenues of cooperation as well. The world is changing rapidly. The Eurasian region is becoming the hub of global economic activity once again. The more Pakistan invests in the SCO by cooperating with its members, the more dividends it will bring us, as the regional body is a convenient channel for its outreach—trade and strategic ties—to the Central Asian Republics (CARs).


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