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First-ever BIMSTEC military exercise begins near Pune

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

In a first such initiative, militaries of BIMSTEC member nations barring began a week-long anti-terror exercise at near on Monday to enhance cooperation in dealing with the challenge of terrorism in the region.

officials said the exercise is focused on boosting inter-operability among the forces and exchanging best practices to contain terror- related activities.

They said the long-term goal of the initiative is to explore possibility of creating a viable regional security architecture to deal with the challenge of terrorism and transnational crimes.

The chiefs of several participating countries are scheduled to hold a detailed deliberation to explore possible areas of cooperation among the militaries of the BIMSTEC nations.

The exercise is taking place nearly two weeks after leaders of the BIMSTEC (Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries, in their summit talks in Kathmandu, resolved to join hands to combat the scourge of terrorism effectively.

The government has decided against participating in the military drill.

The BIMSTEC is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and The grouping accounts for 22 per cent of the global population, and has a combined of USD 2.8 trillion.

The officials said special "tactical level" anti-terror operations will be practised in semi urban setting.

"It is the most significant military exercise in the region in recent years," Col said.

has been pushing for making the BIMSTEC a vibrant form for regional collaboration as cooperation under the SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation) framework was not moving forward.

Citing continuing support to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, has been maintaining that it was difficult to proceed with SAARC initiative under current circumstances. BIMSTEC excludes

During the summit, the leaders deliberated on a range of issues including ways to effectively deal with terrorism and radicalisation.

had organised the in in October 2016 during which the grouping had endorsed New Delhi's effort to corner on terror.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 22:10 IST