BEIJING - China expects a big headway in improvement of Pakistan-India relationship, overcoming their trust-gap in security relating issues, under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
China, that looks forward to play an constructive role ináseeking aánegotiated settlement of the two countriesĺ bilateral disputes, believes that the SCO could be an effective platform to address the common agenda, that is toáfight out terrorism from the region, diplomatic circles said here on Saturday.
Chinese ForeignáMinister Wang Yi in an interview has expressed his confidence that theáSCO can contribute to the improvement of relations betweenáIndiaáandáPakistan.
“We know there are existing and historical unresolved conflicts between PakistanáandáIndia. But I think after they joined the SCO , mayábe we can provide a better platform and opportunities for the building of relations between them,” he added.
For the first time, the militaries ofáIndiaáandáPakistanáare taking part in an ongoing mega anti-terror drill of the SCO ináRussiaáaimed at expanding cooperation among the member countries to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and extremism. It is a step forward ináachieving the goal ofáhaving joint working for promotingápeace and stability in the region, officials said. The counter-terrorism drill by SCO countries, began last Wednesday, is the largest under the SCO charter with the participation of India and Pakistan for the first time, and Chinese experts say the drill will greatly contribute to stability in Central and South Asia.á
Theá joint drill which will be held until August 29, see the participation of at least 3,000 soldiers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, and 10 representatives from Uzbekistan will serve as observers.
The main areas of the joint drill include field reconnaissance, joint strikes, and counter-terrorism operations in residential areas. á The drill plays a positive role in deepening defense and security cooperation among member countries, enhancing capacity in tackling new threats and challenges, and safeguarding regional peace and stability,áChina’s Ministry of National Defenceáspokesperson Ren Guoqiang said at a recent press conference.á
The previous SCO counter-terrorism drills were mainly limited toáCentral Asia. But because of the entry ofáIndiaáandáPakistan, the SCO’s counter-terrorism mission has expanded to South Asia, Li Wei, a counter-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations inBeijing.á
“The effective counter-terrorism cooperation among SCO countries has greatly undermined terrorist groups in Central Asia in recent years, and it’s expected that this effective cooperation will also boost stability in South Asia, a region facing a more complicated counter-terrorism situation with a variety of active terrorist groups,” Li said.á
Sun Zhuangzhi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the local media that Peace Mission 2018 will also greatly improve military and political mutual trust among SCO countries, especially between India and Pakistan.á
“It’s a rare opportunity foráPakistanáandáIndia, which have long been involved in military conflict, to enhance military exchanges and trust. This could improve regional stability,” Sun said.á
Peace Mission 2018 also created a historic chance for four major military powers in Eurasia -áChina,áRussia,áPakistanáandáIndiaá- to participate in the same military drill.á
“But it’s worth pointing out that the four military powers in Eurasia will not form joint military troops to threaten Western countries, as SCO’s military drills are open and transparent and are meant to contribute to regional and world stability,” Sun said.