Nothing happens until it happened. The axiom captures better coaster than the ties between India and Pakistan.
Once again, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a milestone with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the annual meeting of the Shangahi Cooperation Organization (OCS) in Astana on Thursday. It was more than an exchange of pleasures, the sources said. Modi asked him about Sharif’s health. The Pakistani PM had a heart surgery May 31, 2016 and called Modi before the procedure in a hospital in the UK.
“Best wishes to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sahab for his open-hearted operation on Tuesday, and for his speedy recovery and good health,” Modi had then tweeted.
The meeting in the capital of Kazak was its first after surgery and a year of deterioration of bilateral relations.
Modi also asked Sharif’s mother and family when he spoke with the Pakistani leader before the usual SCO concert.
There would have been a better fit and a better time to break the ice, even if it is a meaningful dialogue at a certain distance.
India and Pakistan will be admitted Friday in the SCO, a Eurasian alliance seeking greater security and military cooperation among member countries. The two bad neighbors, with great mutual distrust, would find it difficult to work together unless they control bilateral hostilities. The fact of playing against the script is nothing unusual in relations between India and Pakistan with uncertainty, even at best.
Sharif became the first MP of Pakistan to attend an Indian jurae counterpart when Modi himself and other South Asian leaders invited in Delhi in May 2014.
Modi took them all by surprise when he made an unannounced stop at Lahore Sharif’s residence on 25 December 2015, returning from Kabul.
The Christmas visit came a few days after the two leaders had a brief unscheduled meeting on November 30 in the framework of the 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris.
The meeting paved the way for two national security advisers in Bangkok on December 6, 2015. The meeting was kept secret until it was completed.
A joint press release announced the meeting between Indian NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart, Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua and foreign ministers S Jaishankar and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhury. Discussions focused on “peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and other issues, such as peace along the Line of Control,” the Foreign Ministry said.
But there have been a number of terrorist attacks since the daring attack on the Pathankot air base in January 2016, a week after the Lahore Modi surprise, and the links have been in free fall again.
In March of the same year, Pakistan announced the arrest of the former Indian Navy officer Kulbushan Jadhav for espionage purposes. A military court April 10, 2017 sentenced to death, vitiating the atmosphere even more. India has appealed to the International Court of Justice after 18 years to save Jadhav.
And nothing reflects the complexity of relations between India and Pakistan better than the case of Jadhav.
While the prime ministers met in Astana, the two sides resumed the ICJ, Pakistan demanding an earlier hearing.
The ICJ has Jadhav pending death penalty, but Pakistan has said a security problem, something that the world court can not decide.
Modi, sources, believes that the prejudice of civilian leadership is not the right way to solve bilateral problems, although the Pakistani army, the last word when it comes to links with India.