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India, Pakistan, China to participate in SCO joint anti-terrorism exercise this year

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Beijing, Mar 21: India, Pakistan, China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will hold a joint anti-terrorism exercise this year, the eight-member bloc said.

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The decision to hold the joint exercise "Pabbi-Antiterror-2021" was announced during the 36th meeting of the Council of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on March 18.

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At the meeting, representatives of the SCO member states also approved the draft program of cooperation for 2022-2024 to counter-terrorism, separatism and extremism.

"Decisions have been made to improve cooperation between the competent authorities of the SCO member states in identifying and suppressing channels that finance terrorist activities," China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported, quoting a RATS statement.

Delegations of the competent authorities of India, Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the RATS Executive Committee attended the meeting, Xinhua reported.

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RATS, headquartered in Tashkent, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

The SCO is an 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 next meeting of the Council of the RATS SCO is scheduled to be held in September in Uzbekistan.

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