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Economy, International Pressure Prompt Indian, Pakistan PM Meeting

A group photograph of the SCO heads of state, the heads of observer states and governments, and international organization delegation heads during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia, July 10, 2015.

After months of tension, the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit last week in Russia. Pakistan’s national security adviser said the meeting was a result of several internal and external factors.

The meeting of Indian and Pakistani prime ministers last Friday was considered an ice-breaker after a long period of tensions.

One impetus for the meeting in Moscow was the inclusion of the two South Asian countries into the regional group SCO, according to Pakistan National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

“And as you know the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, one of the requirements is that all members of SCO should have good relations among each other. So that itself is an indirect stimulus for better relations,” said Aziz.

The United States and several other countries have consistently asked both India and Pakistan to reduce tensions and indulge in a meaningful dialogue.

Both prime ministers were elected on an agenda to kickstart their respective economies. Regional tensions can be a roadblock to their agendas.

Aziz acknowledged those factors also played a role in the meeting in Russia.

The Indian prime minister has accepted an invitation to attend a summit of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation next year in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s national security adviser will soon travel to New Delhi to meet the Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.