- India is now SCO president.
- Pakistan to attend SCO events in India.
- Nacta chief will also lead a delegation across the border.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) exercises being held in Haryana, India from 8-13 October.
Islamabad will also attend the SCO RATS council meeting on October 14 in Delhi.
Unlike in the recent past amid the strained relations, the Pakistani officials will undertake many visits to attend different events in India after the SCO was shifted to India till 2023. India took over the presidency of SCO from Uzbekistan, where the last SCO summit was held.
RATS operates in accordance with the SCO charter, the Shanghai convention on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, the agreement among the SCO member states on the RATS as well as documents and decisions adopted in the SCO framework.
In October, several events are being held in India under the SCO, where Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asim Ali will be attending at least three events.
Rai Muhammad Tahir, National Coordinator, National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) will be heading a seven-member delegation.
Earlier, the Foreign Office spokesperson had confirmed that Pakistan would be attending the international counter-terrorism exercises in India.
“Yes, there will be exercises under the ambit of SCO RATS in Manesar in October, and Pakistan as a member country will participate,” the spokesman confirmed.
Pakistan and India are part of the regional body that also includes China, Russia and Central Asian Republics (CARs). While Pakistan and Indian military contingents have taken part in the counter-terrorism exercises together, this will be the first time Pakistan will be attending such drills in India.
Previously, India had sent observers to a RATS exercise held in Pakistan.