MOSCOWinfo-iconArmyinfo-icon contingents from Pakistaninfo-icon and Indiainfo-icon are taking part in a joint counter-terrorism exercise as part of multi-national warinfo-icon games in Russiainfo-icon.

The war games are being held under the umbrella of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCOinfo-icon), and featureinfo-icon soldiers from Chinainfo-icon, Russia and other SCO countries.

The military exercise, Peace Mission 2018, kicked off at the 255 Combined Arms Range at Chebarkul in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia on Friday.

"Indian soldiers have never actively participated in a multilateral exercise that included Pakistan in the past. Troops from the two countries have, however, worked together in UN missions and operations," an officer from the Indian army told TOI.

Pakistan in talks with Russia for procurement of sophisticated arms, says defence minister

Russia has fielded 1,700 soldiers for the exercise, followed by China with 700 and India with 200 soldiers. Pakistan has also fielded a contingent.

The SCO was constituted in 2001 by China, Kazakhstaninfo-icon, Kyrgyzstaninfo-icon, Russia and Tajikistaninfo-icon. The group has eight full members, including India, Pakistan and Uzbekistaninfo-icon. Another four nations have been accorded observer status, while six others are dialogue partners.

Earlier, Pakistan and Russia reached a historic agreement allowing officers from the country's armed forces to train in Russia. The Russians are keen to step in and fill the gap which the United Statesinfo-icon has created after halting security-related aid to Pakistan.

The deal was concluded at the end of the inaugural meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee in Rawalpindi. The Pakistan Army Aviation Corps has also begun receiving the Mi-35 assault helicopters it ordered from Russia back in 2015, according to reports.

Islamabad and Moscow concluded the $153 million helicopter deal during then-chief of army staff  General (retd) Raheel Sharif's visit to Russia in June 2016. A preliminary contract was signed at the Pakistan Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi in August 2015.