ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that it would be taking part in joint military exercises with India and other regional countries under the banner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
This is for the first time that Pakistani and Indian troops would take part in any joint military drills scheduled to be held in Russia in August this year.
"This is under the ambit of the SCO. I will share more details with you later," replied Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal when asked about the development. He, however, would not provide further details.
Reports said the joint military drill will focus on preventing terror attacks and dismantling terror networks. They have been dubbed "Peace Mission 2018". The SCO training will be held at the end of August and in the beginning of September in the Ural mountains in Russia.
The development is significant given the fact that Pakistan and India have tense ties. Also, India has uneasy relationship with China, whose troops would also be participating in the joint military drills.
SCO holds such exercises regularly but this is the first time Pakistan and India would participate. Both the South Asian neighbours joined the regional forum as their full members in June last year.
Even as the Foreign Office confirmed the joint military exercises, tensions continued to soar along the Line of Control. In a latest incident, Indian Army resorted to unprovoked firing at Padhar sector along the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday, martyring two civilians and injuring two others.
During his weekly media briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that the Indian forces used heavy automatic weapons, mortars and anti-tank guided missiles targeting Bramla village.
FO slams India for indulging in ‘pointless blame game’
He said Pakistani troops responded effectively to the Indian fire.
The spokesperson urged the Indian side to uphold the 2003 ceasefire agreement so that the loss of precious lives could be averted.
He said in the first four months of the current year, Indian troops carried out 1,000 ceasefire violations while last year they violated the ceasefire agreement 1,970 times.
In reply to a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan has no frustration regarding Indian missile activities but international community must take notice of such aggressive behaviour.
He said, "Pakistan possesses full capacity to answer Indian actions in the same manner."
Dr Faisal said that the Indian official, including its prime minister, keep giving provocative statements against Pakistan even in other countries.
He said Pakistan has always maintained a dignified attitude and has retaliated only when it was necessary.
He said the political vendetta is at its peak against Kashmiri leaders and even women leaders and activists are being arrested on the ground that they protested along with the students against the rape and murder of a Muslim minor girl at Kathua.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua highlighted that the strategic security paradigm of the world is evolving and undergoing a fast shift. He reiterated Pakistan's resolve to find solutions to the conflicts through dialogue and in line with the UN resolutions. The adviser, who reached Sochi, was addressing IX International Meeting of High-Level Officials Responsible for Security Matters. Highlighting the flashpoints, he questioned the forum that can anyone work out the price Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen have paid and continue to pay for the war inflicted upon them. NSA reiterated that Pakistan continues to follow a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and refrains from fighting others' wars and is purely focused on the economic revival and social development. Pakistan also pursues a policy of friendly neighbourhood and believes in resolution of disputes through dialogue and UN resolutions.