Islamabad/BEIJING - The SCO will hold the Peace Mission 2018 joint military drill from August 22 to 29 in Comprehensive Training Field in Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk, Russia.

The theme of the drill is “Preparation and Cooperation on Counter-terrorism Among SCO Member States Militaries”.

The participating countries will include Pakistan and India, first time both will be the part of joint drill, under the SCO arrangements, it was announced here by a spokesman of the Chinese Defence Ministry, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang.

The main subjects include field reconnaissance, joint fire strike, counter-terrorism operations in residential settlements. The PLA will send 743 officers and men to participate.

This is a routine military drill within the framework of the SCO, which has been playing a positive role in deepening defence and security cooperation among member States, enhancing capacity in tackling new threats and challenges and also safeguarding regional peace and stability.

To another question, the spokesman stressed is that Taiwan is an integral part of China. We firmly oppose any official contacts and military exchanges in any form between any country and Taiwan, he said.

We urge the US side to keep its commitment to One-China Policy and relevant propositions in the three joint communiqués between China and US and handle Taiwan-related issues properly and cautiously so as not to harm the State-to-State and military-to-military relationship between China and the US and the cross-strait peace and stability, he added. Many foreign teams will participate in the competitions hosted in China.

Teams from 10 countries such as Russia, Belarus and Pakistan, and an observing delegation from Armenia, have arrived at Korla competition area in Xinjiang and Quanzhou competition area in Fujian. All the preparation work has been completed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Navy ship SAIF, F22-P class destroyer of Pakistan Navy Fleet, visited Port Muscat at Oman, during the first Regional Maritime Security Patrol (RMSP) deployment in Gulf of Aden & Southern Red Sea Region.

The objective of RSMP is to maintain PN presence along critical choke points/ sea areas in Indian Ocean Region to fulfil international obligations for maritime security and safeguarding national/ international shipping by preserving freedom of navigation at high seas.

During the visit, Commanding Officer of PNS SAIF called on Royal Navy of Oman’s Head of Fleet Staff and other officials. He conveyed well wishes from Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi to the people of Oman in general and Royal Navy of Oman in particular.

A reception was also hosted onboard PNS SAIF and Commodore Saif Bin Mohammad Al Habsi, Commanding Officer Said Bin Sultan Naval Base graced as chief guest. Pakistan and Oman enjoy close diplomatic ties and cordial relations. The visit of PNS SAIF is expected to provide new vistas to further strengthen these relations.

Officers and men of PNS SAIF were engaged in various interactions during the Port visit to ensure continuity in bilateral collaboration.

In order to enhance interoperability with Royal Oman Navy, PNS SAIF will also conduct Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with RNOV Ship KHASSAB. Upon completion of PASSEX, PNS SAIF will resume Regional Maritime Security Patrols in the Gulf of Aden.

Pakistan Navy has always been contributing significantly in assuring a secure maritime environment for merchantmen by actively deploying ships in Counter Terrorism and Anti-Piracy Operations. Continued active presence of Pakistan Navy depicts its resolve to curb menace of Terrorism, Drug & Human Trafficking and Piracy on high seas.