Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), General Nadeem Raza, on Saturday said Pakistan would continue to work with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to advance the shared objectives of peace, progress, and stability in the region, and beyond. The top military General and JCSC General Nadeem Raza recently paid an official visit to Russia to attend the meeting of the Chiefs of General Staff of the Armed Forces of SCO member states. According to the Pakistan Army media wing, the forum discussed the international and regional geo-political environment with emphasis on the Afghanistan situation. The top military brass of SCO member nations also discussed the activities of transnational terrorist organizations in various regions of the world. During the visit, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee met several military leaders and also witnessed the multilateral Exercise Peace Mission-2021. According to reports, the troops from all SCO’s member states participated in the exercise and shared each other’s experiences.
General Nadeem Raza was of the view that peace in Afghanistan was a collective responsibility and the entire region would be its biggest beneficiary. While discussing defense cooperation with regional states, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee said that Pakistan attaches great importance to furthering bilateral defence cooperation with Russia and China and believed that these countries would develop meaningful and long-term strategic relationships through enhanced cooperation.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is the world’s largest regional political, economic and security organization, which represents 40 % of the world population and three fifths of the Eurasian continent. The SCO provided a forum to the regional states to boost their economic potential through enhanced trade and investment and create strong bonds in defense and security domains through establishment of a central mechanism. The SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorists Structure (RATS) provides a platform for sharing intelligence regarding terrorist activities and cross border drug crimes among member states. The SCO member nations also signed an agreement of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to enhance cooperation in Security, drug trafficking and trans-border crimes among them.
The SCO nations are regularly holding annual counter terrorism military drills “Peace Mission” since 2003. The Peace Mission-2021 was concluded by the militaries of member nations a few days back at Donguz training range in Russia. The exercise was participated by the militaries of eight member states including Russia, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, India, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Pakistan is regularly participating in multinational military drills after attaining the membership of SCO since 2017. Other than SCO platform, Pakistan has strong bilateral defense ties with various SCO’s nations including China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.
With the passage of time, the SCO has emerged as biggest regional bloc for promotion of cooperation among the member nations in all fields including Economic, trade and investment, Security and Defence, counter terrorism, drug trafficking etc. Presently, the world has developed into a global village and regional cooperation proves to be the key to a nation’s prosperity. Pakistan must seize available opportunities of cooperation with like minded nations in the region because today’s development and prosperity is a shared objective of the nations in the 21st century.