India, Pak to join SCO war games in August; Chinese media expresses satisfaction
When India and Pakistan officially became members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), many said that the security bloc will now crippling problems that the two new members will bring with them.
But China's Global Times on Wednesday, June 13, came up with a piece titled 'Under SCO, India and Pakistan find common ground' which praised the fact that militaries from both India and Pakistan will train jointly under the framework of the SCO' counter-terror exercise RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) between August 20 and 29 this year. The joint exercise has been named 'Peace Mission-2018'.
It will be the first time that troops from India and Pakistan, the two hostile South Asian neighbours, will jointly engage in war game drills though they have taken part in UN missions and operations in the past.
"The SCO's role in maintaining regional peace has started to display," the piece said reflecting China's elation.
"Since the partition of India in 1947, conflicts between New Delhi and Islamabad have been occurring one after another. Contradictions between the two have presented enormous obstacles for South Asian regional integration," the piece said.
"Against this backdrop, it is good to see the two agree to take part in joint military training. When India and Pakistan were accepted as full members of the SCO in June 2017, some observers worried that the long-term foes might turn the organization into a platform to fight against each other. Now, it seems that the SCO has instilled a spirit of collaboration between the two."
China's top leaders have always tried to prove that the entries of India and Pakistan in the SCO will help things both ways. One one hand, it will bolster the SCO's strength, something Chinese President Xi Jinping said, while on the other, it will help the two neighbours improve their ties, as China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi felt.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed hope that the two neighbours could be able to make use of the multilateral platform at the SCO to resolve their disputes.
Jinping also hailed the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain at the recent SCO summit in Qingdao, China, where the two leaders shook each other's hands.
The Global Times piece also rang the bell of reality by saying both India and Pakistan want peaceful development and know that it is high time they leave the antagonism between them the seeds of which were created by the British seven decades ago.
"New Delhi and Islamabad share quite a lot of common interests. They both want to crack down on terrorism, resolve their domestic economic problems and raise the living standard of their people. But without peace and stability or regional integration, these goals are certainly out of reach," it said adding while Pakistan has held India back from playing a crucial role internationally, it has also drained substantial resources to meet challenges with India.
According to the Chinese news site, the two rivals can focus on economic development and become more relevant strategically and diplomatically by breaking away from their age-old enmity.