Under US President Donald Trump’s presidency, international ties are shifting. This presidency has achieved the impossible rather inadvertently, by bringing countries in conflict together for peace talks and co-operation in South Asia, and it is always good news when India and Pakistan try to work together, especially for military exercises.
While the world sighed in relief as the North and South Korean leaders stepped towards ending the 65 years long Korean War, two other countries have agreed to participate in joint counter-terrorism drills.
India and Pakistan have decided to participate in the joint military exercise in August 2018 for the first time since their independence in 1947!
The Shanghai Cooperation Organizations’ (SCO) Peace Mission 2018 is conducting military exercises with the primary attention to counter-terrorism operations. Russia, China, India, and Pakistan are jointly partaking in this peace mission. The military drill will be carried out on a multi-national capacity in the Ural Mountains, Russia. Official reports state that India’s Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has confirmed India’s presence in the exercise at the SCO meeting held last week in Beijing, China.
SCO was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by Tajikistan, Kyrghistan, Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. Later it was joined by India, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan as its members. The SCO exercises are held every two-year and this year marks its fifth edition.
While both the countries have had their troops participate in United Nations peacekeeping missions, this will mark the first joint military counter-terrorism drills for India and Pakistan.
Both countries have a chance to work together for peace, amidst regular ceasefire violations on the Line of Control between the nations.
The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, had recently met to discuss issues including managing the borders between India and China with mutual respect and understanding. This also marks the resumption of military exercises between India and China, which were suspended after the Doklam incident in 2017.
This is a huge step in improving the border conflicts of India with China and Pakistan. It could be a move towards achieving peace and unifying the South Asian countries in these uncertain and volatile times of world war and nuclear war speculations.
Snigdha is a 'closet' writer with unapologetic opinions on life and people around her. She supports the cause of protecting endangered civil rights like free speech, equity, equality, and most importantly common sense.