Pakistan is participating in a week-long multinational military exercise along with military contingents from other Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states.
The military exercise, TSENTR (Centre) 2019, is being held near the southwest Russian city of Orenburg, said a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The military’s media wing said: “Apart from host Russia, military contingents from all SCO member states including Pakistan are taking part in this international exercise.”
Participating countries include India, China, Kazakhstan and others.
The opening ceremony of the military drill was attended by senior military officials of all participating countries.
Relations between Pakistan and Russia have seen unprecedented growth in the last few years. Russia and Pakistan have been holding Druzhba – Slavic word for friendship – drills since 2016.
In October 2016, they held their first-ever joint military exercise in Pakistan. In 2017, over 200 servicemen took part in the drills, hosted by Russia at Minralney Vody in the North Caucasus at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea level.
The SCO platform was initiated by China to resolve issues related to border management and security but later its scope was widened.
At present, SCO is the biggest regional organisation in terms of its size and population. Its members constitute about 45 per cent of the world population, 23 per cent of landmass and 25 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) of the entire world. The total worth of GDP is $14.5 trillion.
According to the military’s media wing the exercise CENTRE aims at evolving drills of the participating armies in the fight against international terrorism ensuring security and stability in the region.