India Attends Two-Day SCO Defence and Experts Meet in Pakistan

India Attends Two-Day SCO Defence and Experts Meet in Pakistan

Islamabad: India attended the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence and security experts hosted by Pakistan from February 19 to 20.

India were among the seven other member states along with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan that attended the 9th Defence and Security Expert Working Group meeting of the SCO.

The member states discussed different aspects of cooperation between the SCO member states' and regional security, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) - the media wing of the Pakistan army, said on Thursday.

"The participants also exchanged information and opinions on important issues of mutual interest including joint training and military exercises," it said in a statement.

“Belarus attended the meeting as the observer state,” the statement read.

India attending the meeting in Pakistan assumes significance in the wake of their strained ties in recent years. The ties further nosedived last year when Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India and expelled Indian High Commissioner after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

For the first time, India will host the annual meeting of council of heads of government of the SCO later this year. It will be interesting to see who represents Pakistan in the meeting in India.

The SCO is a China-led eight-member economic and security bloc in which India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. Its founding members included China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The grouping has four observer states, namely Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.