Special Reports

SCO Joint Anti-Terrorist Exercise 2021

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance which was established on June 15, 2001, with its headquarters in Beijing. It has nine members states including China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran.

As a matter of fact, SCO is the successor to the Shanghai Five, a mutual security agreement formed in 1996 between China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. However, on June 15, 2001, the leaders of these nations and Uzbekistan met in Shanghai to announce a new organization with deeper political and economic cooperation due to the emerging multipolar world. Its membership has since expanded to nine states, with Pakistan and India joining on June 9, 2017. Several countries are engaged as observers or partners.

It is the world’s largest regional organization in geographic and population scope, covering three-fifths of the Eurasian continent, 40% of the world’s population and more than 20% of the global GDP. Due to the increasing menace of terrorism, SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure was established by the member states of the Shanghai Convention to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism on June 15, 2001, with its headquarters situated in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic. It is fundamentally aimed for coordination and cooperation of competent bodies of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s member states in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism.
Pakistan has made tremendous efforts to exterminate the ugly head of terrorism in its various parts for more than 20 years. Due to the glorious efforts and achievements rendered by fighting against terrorism, Pakistan was given the opportunity to conduct the Joint Anti-Terrorist Exercise (JATE) at the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), Pabbi, near Kharian. This was the first-ever military exercise conducted in Pakistan under the ambit of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).

The exercise was conducted in two stages. The first stage of the training was conducted in respective SCO member countries from July 26-31, 2021, while the second stage was conducted in Pakistan from September 21 to October 4, 2021. The exercise was focused on enhancing cooperation and cohesiveness in combating international terrorism. Chinese and Pakistani troops participated in the exercise and shared their rich experience and skills of capacity building with innovative approaches. Ideas emerging from sophisticated technologies were skillfully adopted by the participating troops of both countries.
During the two-week-long training, the participating troops extensively displayed various drills as part of the joint counter terrorism operations from planning to conduct, cordon & search, compound clearance, close quarter battle, rappelling from helicopter, explosive handling and medical evacuation.

The closing ceremony of JATE 2021 was largely attended by the representatives of member states and other guests from various embassies in Pakistan. Commander Central Command, Lieutenant General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood, was the chief guest. In his keynote address, he expressed in detail the purpose, aim and objectives of the exercise. He also appreciated and lauded the skills of the participating troops. He gave away souvenirs and shields among the guests. 


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