Pakistan to host first SCO anti-terror meet today, India to attend

Pakistan is set to host an anti-terrorism meeting under the banner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation beginning Wednesday, with India likely to attend. The three-day conference is taking place under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan, Pakistan daily Dawn quoted Foreign office as saying.

The meeting, namely SCO-Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Legal Experts (RATS), is the first Pakistan is hosting since it became full member of the organization together with India nearly a year ago.

During the moot, the legal experts will discuss terrorist threats being faced by the region and ways and means to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation between SCO member states.

The Pakistani foreign ministry said it is pleased to welcome delegations from SCO member states to Islamabad, but there was no mention whether Indian officials will attend.

“We are ready to share our experiences in tackling the menace of terrorism through the SCO-RATS,” according to the FO.

India’s presence at the meeting assumes significance since it had boycotted the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad in 2016 citing continuing support to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

Apart from the SCO meeting, the two countries in an unexpected move are going to participate in joint military drills in September for the first time.

According to media reports, Indian and Pakistani troops will participate in a joint exercise in Russia under the aegis of the SCO.

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