Pakistan attends SCO counter-terrorism drills in India

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is currently participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) exercises taking place in the town of Manesar, Haryana State, India, from 8 to October 13.

The country will also participate in the SCO RATS board meeting on October 14 in Delhi. Unlike the recent past amid tense relations, Pakistani officials will undertake numerous visits to attend different events in India after the transfer of the SCO to India until 2023. India took over the presidency from Uzbekistan of the SCO, where the last SCO summit was held. .

The Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) operates in accordance with the SCO Charter, the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, the Agreement between SCO Member States on the RATS as well as the documents and decisions adopted within the framework of the SCO.

In October, several events are organized in India within the framework of the SCO, where the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asim Ali, will participate in at least three events. Rai Muhammad Tahir, national coordinator of the National Counterterrorism Authority (Nacta) will lead a seven-member delegation with his wife.

Earlier, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed that Pakistan will participate in the international counter-terrorism drills in India. “Yes, there will be drills under SCO RATS in Manesar in October, and Pakistan as a member country will participate,” the spokesperson confirmed.

Pakistan and India are part of the regional body which also includes China, Russia and the Central Asian Republics (CAR). While the Pakistani and Indian military contingents participated in the counter-terrorism drills together, this will be the first time that Pakistan will participate in such drills in India.

Previously, India sent observers to a RATS exercise held in Pakistan. Meanwhile, on Sunday, FO bluntly dismissed what it said were unwarranted remarks by the Foreign Ministry spokesperson regarding Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s joint press conference with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin, where both spoke about Kashmir and the role of the United Nations in finding a peaceful solution to the issue in accordance with the UN resolution.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said: “Germany also has a role and a responsibility regarding the situation in Kashmir. We therefore strongly support the United Nations’ commitment to finding peaceful solutions in the region.

Reacting to his remarks, EAM spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the global community had a responsibility to “expose international terrorism, especially of a cross-border nature” in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

The FO spokesperson, dismissing the words of the EAM spokesperson, added that India was showing the despair of a country which finds itself increasingly isolated on the issue of its illegal occupation of Jammu- and Kashmir and the reprehensible human rights violations perpetrated by its ruthless occupying force. in the occupied territory.

The FO said the two foreign ministers underscored the centrality of the Kashmir dispute and agreed that there was a role and responsibility of the international community as well as a need for intensified UN efforts in this regard. regarding a peaceful and just resolution to publish it.

“He must realize, however, that no amount of obfuscation will change the reality of his repression in the IIOJ&K. India’s credentials as a purveyor of state terrorism in the IIOJ&K and as an instigator of cross-border terrorism in Pakistan need not be reiterated, the FO said.

“Hollow denials and evasion of responsibility will no longer cover India’s nefarious strategy of posing as a ‘victim’ of terrorism while shifting blame elsewhere,” the FO added. He underscored Pakistan’s contribution to the cause of counter-terrorism which was recognized globally.

FO called on the FATF to take note of India’s “irresponsible statement”. “Rather than making nonsensical remarks on statements by foreign ministers, India should do some soul-searching, address the legitimate concerns of the international community and redress its conduct in the IIOJ&K,” the FO said.

“Pakistan urges the international community, especially humanitarian and human rights organizations, to condemn India’s barbaric state terrorism in the IIOJ&K and ensure that Kashmiris enjoy their right to self-determination, as enshrined in relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and in accordance with their own wishes,” he added.

Meanwhile, a group of United Nations Disarmament Fellows made up of officers from 24 countries, including Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Cambodia, Egypt, France , Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iran, Libya, Montenegro, Palau, Poland, Saint Kit and Nevis, Togo, United States of America , Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen are visiting Pakistan from October 8 to 10, 2022 as part of their international study tour under the auspices of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). This is the first time that Pakistan has hosted such an international study tour for United Nations Disarmament Fellows.

The FO said the tour officially began with a visit by the fellows to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where they received a briefing on Pakistan’s perspective on arms control, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation as well as the importance of unhindered access to dual-use items. technologies for peaceful socio-economic applications.

During the tour, fellows will also visit Pakistan Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security (PCENS), Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH), National Institute of Health (NIH), Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), Defense Science and Technology Organization (DESTO) and Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) to assist in the application of nuclear and space technologies in public health fields , industry, agriculture, food security and power generation.

At PCENS and PNRA, fellows will receive information on Pakistan’s nuclear safety and security architecture, regulatory mechanisms and safeguards introduced by the Government of Pakistan in accordance with recognized global standards and recognized by the International Safety Agency. atomic energy (IAEA). Fellows will also visit various laboratories, world-renowned reference libraries, and state-of-the-art facilities at DESTO and NIH.

At the Suparco, participants will learn about the Pakistani space program and its usefulness for the socio-economic development of the country. The United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Program was launched by the General Assembly at its first special session devoted to disarmament in 1978.

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