Russia and China have a long history of warm relations with India and Pakistan, which recently joined the SCO. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently described the decision of India and Pakistan to join the security group as evidence of the emergence of a “multi-polar” world.
India and Pakistan currently hold an “observer status” in the SCO. The other members of SCO include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Russia, China are traditional friends of Pakistan, India
India is a traditional friend of Russia and Pakistan is a traditional friend of China. A source told Sputnik News that the presence of China and Russia at the SCO would encourage a friendly relationship between India and Pakistan. The organization would also promote peace and stability in the region.
India and Pakistan fought each other in three major wars since 1947. Their membership in the SCO is expected to reduce the tension between the two nuclear-armed countries.
Michael Fugleman, a senior program associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Wilson Centre in Washington believed, “India is particularly interested because it lacks direct access to Central Asia, and it sees SCO membership as a way to get a better foothold in the region. SCO membership could better position India to benefit from Central Asia’s gas riches.”
India will help advance peace and prosperity in the region
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized that his country would help in advancing peace and prosperity in the region during his speech at the SCO summit.
“We will work with SCO to combat terrorism and extremism that is a rising threat to the entire region. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is a future that the Afghan people richly deserve, but it will also advance peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” said Modi.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif praised China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. According to him, “This blueprint of grand regional connectivity entails massive infrastructure and energy resource development, with unparalleled economic dividends for our future societies.”
Nawaz added, “The development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is linked with the prosperity of our neighbourhood. Among others, the Corridor envisions construction of roads, railways, and important energy projects.”
India and Pakistan agreed to improve relations
“All issues, including Kashmir, were discussed: both [sides] agreed on a roadmap to improve relations,” according to a source. Modi expected to visit Pakistan next year.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised his concerns about terrorism particularly the Mumbai terrorist attack during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia.
Modi and Nawaz agreed that their national security advisers should hold a meeting soon to discuss the issue.