Troops from China and Pakistan on Thursday launched a joint anti-terror exercise as part of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS)

The opening ceremony of the Joint Anti-Terrorist Exercise (JATE)-2021 was held at the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) Pabbi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Pakistan Army said in a statement.

"JATE is being conducted with a view to practice and master various drills and procedures involved in Counter Terrorism operations including Cordon & Search, Compound Clearance, Close Quarter Battle and medical evacuation," it said.

The exercise is aimed at enhancing synergy and interoperability among Special Services and Law Enforcement Agencies of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries for combating international terrorism, practice mechanisms to respond to a crisis situation and capacity building of the forces.

Stage one of the exercises was conducted in respective countries from July 26 to 31, 2021, whereas two weeks long stage two is being conducted in Pakistan.

Major General Javed Dost Chandio of Pakistan was the chief guest at the opening ceremony, according to the statement.

RATS, headquartered in Tashkent, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism

The SCO is an economic and security bloc in which India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017.