Tajikistan is participating in “Peace Mission-2018”, a multi-nation counter-terror war game, under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that is going on in the Russian Federation.

The war game is reportedly being conducted at the Chebarkul training ground in Russia’s Chelyabinsk oblast under the framework of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), which is headquartered in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), from August 22 to August 29.

“A special unit of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of Tajikistan, which is part of the Mobile Forces Group of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), is representing Tajikistan in the ongoing military exercises,” an official source at a MoD told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

According to him, the Tajik military delegation is led by General-Lieutenant Emomali Sobirzoda, the Frist Deputy Minister of Defense also the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan. 

In all, the multi-nation counter-terror war game reportedly involves at least 3,000 servicemen from China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as more than 500 military vehicles.   

According to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, the exercises are divided into three stages: strategic consultation; joint anti-terrorism campaign preparation; and campaign implementation.

The exercises are aimed at bolstering counter-terror cooperation among the member countries and they are seeing joint mock drills to eliminate terrorists and their networks, and interventions in hostage situations.

The “Peace Mission” exercise is conducted once every two years.

The SCO was founded at a Summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has eight full members -- China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.  Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.  ACEAN, CIS, Turkmenistan and the United Nations are guest attendances.