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Pakistan may send team for SCO exercise on earthquake

Pakistan is likely to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue, to be held in New Delhi on November 4.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 31, 2019, 10.14 AM IST
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Richter Scale BCCL
NEW DELHI: Pakistan is likely to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue, to be held in New Delhi on November 4.

The four-day event, which home minister Amit Shah will attend, is likely to have participants from India, Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, ET has learnt.

While China and Russia have nominated their officials for the joint exercise, Pakistan is yet to send the list. Sources said Pakistan may depute senior officials from its embassy in New Delhi. After the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the diplomatic ties between the two countries have nosedived, with Pakistan denying airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s travel to Saudi Arabia.

The two nations have decided to come together for the joint exercise and opening of the Kartarpur corridor on November 9. Home ministry officials told ET that Shah is likely to stress on capacity building among participating nations to handle emergency situations and natural disasters.

A discussion on the 2001 Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat, Shah’s home state, is expected in the fourday event, while another session has been planned on the role of civil-military coordination at the time of emergency, they said.

SCO member countries, home to 40% of global population, have lost over 300,000 lives in natural disasters.

“None of the global targets on reducing disaster losses can be met by 2030, unless they are achieved by the SCO countries as well. International cooperation in this area is therefore important for all,” a home ministry official told ET.

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